Prevention is better than cure — but when it comes to COVID-19, what happens when people can’t get the vaccine, don’t want it, or they’re immune suppressed and it fails to stop infection?
The hunt is on for a treatment to be taken as a pill soon after a confirmed positive, halting the disease in its tracks so cases that might have been severe end up being just a bad cold.
Several companies are working on so-called oral antivirals, which would mimic what the drug Tamiflu does for influenza.
David Hirschwerk, an infectious diseases physician in New York said, “It’s great that we have vaccine rollout that has been significant, but it certainly will not be taken by everybody in our population, and not everybody who takes the vaccine will have a full response to it.”
An easily storable and transportable pill would also offer practical advantages over existing treatments such as monoclonal antibodies, mainly injected by drips at hospital infusion centers.