Tuesday, October 19

The US bets on pills in its fight against Covid


Updated

The administration of President Joe Biden will allocate 3.2 billion dollars to accelerate the development of antiviral pills to prevent future pandemics

Several people walk down Wall Street (New York), after the relaxation of prevention measures against Covid.
Several people walk down Wall Street (New York), after the relaxation of prevention measures against Covid.BRENDAN MCDERMIDREUTERS
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The decrease in the number of positives per Covid-19 It has been very pronounced in recent months in the United States. Of the 206,000 that were registered on January 10, it has been slightly more than 12,000 positives on average in the last 7 days, with 335 deaths on Wednesday, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But the fight against Covid continues. The Health department announced Thursday that will invest 3,200 million dollars in developing pills to prevent future coronavirus infections and prevent further deaths.

The new program aims to speed up clinical trials of the drugs so that a pill is available before the end of the year. The funds will not only go to the fight against Covid but to seek remedies against other viruses that could cause future pandemic scenarios worldwide.

“The remarkable and rapid development of vaccines and assay technology has shown how agile scientific discovery can be,” said Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in a statement. “We will leverage these same strengths as we build a platform for the discovery and development of effective antivirals.”

With the go-ahead from President Joe Biden, the goal is to focus on 19 medications that are being investigated, with special emphasis on one of them for which they have bet heavily. Is producing it Merck and they have already purchased 1.7 million doses pending authorization for emergency use by the United States Drug Administration (FDA).

The new pills could help convince the vaccine reluctant -around 30% of the population in the US- with the goal of achieving herd immunity as soon as possible, in addition to stopping infections even among the inoculated population. Despite the fact that the incidence has been minimal, post-vaccine infections have been detected in 46 of the 50 states of the country. They represent 0.1% of the cases But they would make the coronavirus pill even more attractive.

Anthony Fauci, the White House epidemiologist and medical adviser to President Biden, has assured that the pills against Covid-19 could become a “powerful tool to fight the pandemic and save lives.”

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