Pfizer Chair and CEO Albert Bourla said that the company’s antiviral pill is a Covid-19 treatment, not prevention, and people still need to get vaccinated.
“This is a treatment, this is not something that we use for prevention at this stage,” Bourla said, when asked on CBS Mornings on Tuesday about how the pill could be a gamechanger for dealing with Covid-19.
“People that are getting sick, unfortunately some of them ending up in hospitals or ending up dying. With this pill, we have now proof that instead of 10 of them going to hospital, only one will go and, frankly, no one died in this study,” he said.
Mortality should be prevented at very high levels, he said.
“It’s a game changer,” he said.
Asked if the news about the treatment would encourage those who haven’t been vaccinated to think that they don’t need to be, Bourla said, “there is a risk to happen, what you said, and that will be a very big mistake. Vaccines are needed, people need to prevent getting sick. They should not take chances that they may not get seriously sick because there’s a pill that could treat them. People should prevent.”
People need to get vaccinated to protect themselves and those that they love, he said.
“But, unfortunately, there will be cases of Covid disease,” he said. “And now, this is the big news, when we have Covid surges, usually what is happening is that our hospitals are overwhelmed, people are in ICUs, hospitals need to change the normal procedure, sometimes they postpone elective surgeries. It’s a very big problem for the health care system. Right now, with this pill, instead of 10 going there, only one, nine will stay at home and hopefully nobody will die. This is a very big deal.”
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