There’s plenty more to learn about the lifesaving antiviral COVID treatment.
The first data on Paxlovid, out last November, hinted that the COVID antiviral would cut the risk of hospitalization and death by 89 percent. Pundits called the drug “a monster breakthrough,” “miraculous,” and “the biggest advance in the pandemic since the vaccines.” “Today’s news is a real game-changer,” said Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, which makes the drug. The pills are “a game changer,” President Joe Biden repeated a few months later.
Now, finally, the game is being changed. The government has ordered 20 million courses of Paxlovid, committing half of the $10 billion in additional COVID funding that is being negotiated in the Senate; and Pfizer says that the number of patients taking the drug increased by a factor of 10 between mid-February and late April.