Doctors Discuss Potential as Pfizer Tests Pill to Treat COVID-19

A pill from Pfizer to treat patients with coronavirus is in Phase 1 of trials

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A new Pfizer pill to treat COVID-19 is in its first phase of trials, and by the end of the year, it could potentially be prescribed as soon as someone gets coronavirus.

"One can think of it as similar to Tamiflu, but for COVID," said Dr. Michael Misialek of Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

Dr. Sabrina Assoumou of Boston Medical Center says the pill would prevent the virus from replicating in our bodies.

"This one will be an oral antiviral, so unlike Remdesivir, which needs to be IV'd, this one will be oral," Assoumou said.

Pfizer is among several companies testing the antiviral in pill form.

Doctors say it would be given "early on" and would decrease the number of days a person has symptoms of COVID-19, as well as their chances of getting worse.

But there's still a long way to go.

"It's only in Phase 1, meaning that we're only giving it to a small number of people to make sure it is safe," said Assoumou.

Both doctors say while promising, we also need to work with what we have right now.

"Proceed with making sure you get vaccinated. That's the number one thing we can do right now to prevent serious disease and illness and hospitalizations and death," Misialek said.

Pfizer says its Phase 1 trial is being tested in the U.S.

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