Bloomberg News reports that following the promise of Pfizer Inc and Merck & Co related to the covid pills one question that is being sought an answer for is “Is it the end of the pandemic?“. The best answer that one can expect is “perhaps”. Regardless of the effectiveness of the covid pills, it will take months before it can be safely said that the covid has come to an end.
Studies have shown that these pills will reduce the chances of hospitalization of an individual that falls in the high-risk category and has not received the vaccination. The results have made everyone hopeful about the outcome. The effectiveness of Pfizer’s drug was found to be 89% and that of Merck was found to be effective in at least 50% of the patients and is being considered as a potential breakthrough in the scientific world.
Last time around this time itself, another potential breakthrough was being celebrated by all and that is Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccine results that were obtained, which were remarkable, in terms of the effectiveness and also the short time within which these hots were developed.
However, several devastations followed. The number of Americans that have lost their lives to Covid is higher in 2021 as compared to 2020, even though the shots were widely available. A few factors that propelled the virus to carry on with its rampage include mutations problematic, rates of vaccination that were lower, and irregular compliance to masking. The ones that prefer to predict the forthcoming days in terms of covid would not like to comment just as yet that the pills will stop the virus.
According to Bloomberg News, the new treatment has limitations. The effectiveness of the pills is useful for only those patients that have not been vaccinated and have manifested symptoms of covid and have a prescription made by the medical practitioner. However, it is known that testing does not happen promptly and any unvaccinated individual who has higher chances of getting covid and requires the pill may not be too eager to get tested.
Vaccinations are still regarded as the best way to keep covid at bay from occurring and spreading. If people that are wary of the vaccine are told that these covid pills might decrease their chances of getting the illness, they will less likely agree to take the vaccine shots. Not only that Merck and Pfizer will be required to produce at least millions if not billions of these covid pills if they are to be made widely available during the winter months when it is being predicted that the number of cases will be on the rise.
The vaccination rates will differ widely across the world. Within the United States, it ranges from 41% of the West Virginia population being vaccinated to 72% being fully immunized in Vermont, as per Bloomberg’s Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker. There are groups of people that allow the virus to spread facilitating mutations.
The antiviral drugs that have been produced are another tool that will work against the virus but vaccination cannot be replaced by them, especially because they must be given immediately after the infection. This was stated by Tom Frieden through email. He has been associated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formerly and is presently working as the chief executive officer of Resolve to Save Lives’ public health initiative. He also said that the opportunity that can alter the course of the pandemic is to increase the production rapidly of effective vaccines that can prevent even more dangerous variants to develop.
There is no official criterion that can say that the pandemic has come to an end. The end might be if a combination of drugs, vaccines, and robust natural immunity has developed sufficiently to suppress the seriousness of the disease and its complications due to the virus, letting people lead their normal lives without the need to adhere to precautions again.
There might be some parts of the United States that are opening and the ones where the condition is not getting worse.
According to Bloomberg News, the calculus could change due to colder weather. A leading population health research center, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts that there could be another surge during the colder months that could set in from November end and reach its peak in January or beginning of February and the number of deaths might be estimated at 120,000 between the present and March.
For Covid to become the likes of flu or the common cold, people must get exposed to the same over and over again. If an individual has been exposed to the virus in varying intensities and subsequent infections, through vaccines or infections, the infections that occur subsequently will be milder. This is how it can become a seasonal virus. It will take a few years to attain this scenario.
Covid continues to play havoc in our lives. Every day as many as 70,000 cases are detected in the United States. However, according to virologist David Ho, Columbia who is a veteran researcher who masterminded and spearheaded the HIV drug cocktail that reduced the death rate, believes that pills might be able to minimize the number of deaths and make it easier to live with the virus.
Around 1.6% of the ones that have been diagnosed with Covid in the United States have been killed due to the Covid virus. The combination of vaccines and drugs that have shown 90% efficacy might bring down the death rate and may equate it close to that caused due to flu. This will allow people to return to their normal lives and will reduce the fear factor.
There is never going to be a complete wipeout of the virus and there will be occasional flare-ups. This is something that everyone must live with it for a long. It is necessary to get vaccinated depending on how the virus is evolving, reports Bloomberg News.