The FDA granted emergency use authorization for Merck’s antiviral pill in situations when no alternatives are available.READ MORE: Sources: Suspect In Shooting Of NYPD Officers Had Multiple Weapons, Including AR-15 With 20 Rounds Hidden Under Mattress
“Molnupiravir is limited to situations where other FDA-authorized treatments for COVID-19 are inaccessible or are not clinically appropriate and will be a useful treatment option for some patients with COVID-19 at high risk of hospitalization or death,” said the FDA’s Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni.”
The pills are supposed to be started within five days of the first symptoms.
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Merck’s drug, developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, was shown to reduce hospitalizations and deaths by around 30% in a clinical trial of high-risk individuals early in the course of the illness. However, the FDA committee expressed some safety concerns over Molnupiravir, especially for pregnant women.READ MORE: Mayor Eric Adams' Plan To Address Gun Violence Includes Return Of Plainclothes Police Unit
Britain has already approved the Merck drug for use in people with mild to moderate COVID-19 and for those who have at least one risk factor for developing severe illness.
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As CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported Tuesday, the pills will not replace vaccines as the best weapons against the virus. They may prevent serious illness and death after you’ve contracted the coronavirus.MORE NEWS: New York State Supreme Court Strikes Down Gov. Kathy Hochul's Mask Mandate
Plus, you have to start the drugs within five days of symptoms starting, a period when many people are still wondering if their symptoms are a cold, the flu, allergies or some other ailment. In other words, vaccines are still the first line of defense against COVID.