An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

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It looks like a promising antiviral drug by the name of molnupiravir has been developed, made for people who are already infected with the coronavirus.

The antiviral pill reduces the rates of hospitalization and death by half compared to no treatment at all.

The antiviral was tested in a small test group against a placebo in people at high risk of developing severe disease. Of the 377 people who got the placebo, 14.1 percent, or 53, were hospitalized within 29 days of starting the trial, with eight dying. By comparison, 7.3 percent, or 28, of the 385 patients who got the drug were hospitalized in the same time period, with none dying.

The antiviral drug was developed by the pharmaceutical company Merck, was originally developed to treat the flu virus, and was announced on October 1 in a news release.

Before now, only lab-made monoclonal antibodies are authorized for COVID-19 patients who are not sick enough to go to the hospital. Those antibodies must be given through an IV, making it difficult for some people to get treatment compared to just taking pills.

Of course, this is all great news but… as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The vaccine is already out, has been tested on millions more people, and drastically reduces the hospitalization and death rates of the people who get infected by Covid in spite of being vaccinated.

The vaccine is more effective than this new drug molnupiravir or monoclonal antibodies. Of the people in the hospital, 95-99% of them are unvaccinated. Of the people who die from the coronavirus, 95-99% of them are unvaccinated.

Again this announcement of a pill is great news… but it is no replacement for getting one of the vaccines. At best it should be used by people who have been vaccinated but are sick with covid, immunocompromised, or people who for whatever reason are unable to take vaccines.

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