COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- An antiviral pill could be the latest answer for Colorado Springs doctors and the rest of Southern Colorado battling COVID-19.
Pfizer says it's seeking emergency authorization for the new version of the COVID-19 vaccine, an oral drug called Paxlovid.
The pharmaceutical company says Paxlovid can protect people from the most severe symptoms of COVID-19. This antiviral pill could cut the chances of hospitalizations and deaths in adults with a high risk of disease by nearly 90 percent. If Paxlovid is approved, the pill can be taken as an early at-home treatment against the virus.
According to Pfizer, Paxlovid is ready for mass production, if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives approval, signing a deal allowing approved manufactures to make the pill.
This mass production of Paxlovid can open up treatment opportunities to more than half of the world's population.
Based on the preliminary results of a study conducted by Pfizer, less than one percent of COVID-19 patients who took the pill needed to be hospitalized, and there were no deaths -- that's compared to the seven percent of people who were offered a placebo, where some deaths did occur.
"The overwhelming efficacy achieved in our recent clinical study of Paxlovid, and its potential to help save lives... underscores the critical role that oral antiviral therapies could play in the battle against COVID-19," Pfizer said.
As of now, only 60 percent of El Paso County is fully vaccinated from COVID-19.