TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The U.S. has secured millions of treatment courses of Pfizer’s experimental antiviral COVID-19 pill, according to an announcement from President Joe Biden on Thursday.
Pfizer says its antiviral pill could cut hospitalization rates and death by nearly 89%. Currently, all COVID-19 treatments used in the U.S. require an IV or injection, but researchers worldwide have been racing to find a pill that fights against COVID-19.
“Today, I’m announcing that we have purchased 10 million treatment courses of the Pfizer antiviral COVID-19 pill, with delivery starting at the end of this year and across 2022,” Biden said.
While the pill still requires a full review by the Food and Drug Administration, the Biden administration said they have taken immediate steps to secure enough supply for the American people ahead of the winter months.
“My administration is making the necessary preparations now to ensure these treatments will be easily accessible and free,” Biden added.
Pfizer says the drug will be available for adults who have mild-to-moderate COVID-19 infections and are at risk of becoming seriously ill. Patients would need to start taking the pills within three days of symptoms.
While top U.S. health officials continue to stress vaccination as the best method to protect against infection, tens of millions of adults are still unvaccinated — and many more globally. They say effective, easy-to-use treatments will be critical to curbing future waves of infections.
“This is positive news. This treatment could prove to be another critical tool in our arsenal that will accelerate our path out of the pandemic,” Biden said.