UK to roll out Covid pill before Christmas

The experimental antiviral pill will be offered to people most vulnerable to the Omicron variant within 48 hours of testing positive.

The UK has approved the use of a drug to treat people who are at high risk of developing severe Covid-19 symptoms. Manufacturers of the first at-home treatment for the virus say it is effective against the new Omicron variant.

Covid Treatment Pill

According to the Sunday Telegraph, the treatment could be rolled out before Christmas. The Health Secretary, Sajid Javid will reportedly be launching a national pilot of the Molnupiravir antiviral pill, marketed as Lagevrio, soon.

A State from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said, the antibody treatment, sotrovimab,

was found to be safe and effective at reducing the risk of hospitalization and death in people with mild to moderate COVID-19 infection, who are at an increased risk of developing severe disease.

According to the regulator, a single dose of the drug could reduce the risk of hospitalization and death by 79 percent in high-risk adults with symptomatic COVID-19.

It is being reported that the NHS is expected to offer the antiviral pills to clinically vulnerable and immunosuppressed patients within 48 hours of them testing positive for Covid.

Game Changer

The UK became the first country to approve the drug last month, a move which has been touted by Mr. Javid as a ‘game changer’.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said at the time:

The government’s antivirals taskforce was launched to identify treatments for UK patients who have been exposed to Covid-19 to take at home, stopping the infection spreading and speeding up recovery time.

But just over a week ago, England’s chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, cautioned that the use of this pill may have to be reviewed in the light of the emergence of Omicron.

I think we probably need to do a rethink of it just to make sure, with the new variant, we’re targeting in the right direction.
A new strain of coronavirus has been discovered in the UK A new strain of coronavirus has been discovered in the UK