MOSCOW (Sputnik) – South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on Monday approved Pfizer’s oral antiviral pill, the first one to treat COVID-19 in the country, after a panel of experts reviewed its safety and efficiency, national media said.
Pfizer’s Paxlovid is a pill treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 cases for people 12 years of age and older weighing at least 88 pounds with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, according to the US Food and Drug Association.
Paxlovid is not a substitute for vaccination for those whom COVID-19 vaccination and a booster shot are advised. It is administered by prescription only.
Paxlovid consists of three tablets taken together orally twice a day for five days. The treatment should be administered as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of symptom onset, according to Pfizer.
Paxlovid is believed to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death among patients at high risk of severe illness by 88 percent.
Currently, South Korea uses Remdesivir and Rekirona intravenous injections to treat critical cases and to reduce the risk of infection progressing to severe cases, respectively.