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A New Experimental COVID-19 Medication Can Cut Hospitalizations In Half

Nurse putting on gloves to administer a COVID 19 vaccination.
The new antiviral pill could make a big difference in reducing hospitalization and risk of death by COVID.
(Chava Sanchez
/
LAist)
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A new experimental antiviral medication may be a helpful tool in fighting COVID-19.

Studies of antiviral medication from Merck showed half as many hospitalizations and deaths in high risk patients compared to those who didn't use the experimental drug.

Doctor Sam Torbati co-chairs the department of emergency medicine at Cedars-Sinai and he explained to our newsrooms current events show AirTalk how the medicine works.

"The pill inhibits replication of the virus, whereas vaccines trigger an immune response in humans so that the human antibody and T cell mediated responses get rid of the infection," said Dr. Torbati.

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Dr. Torbati explained that the antiviral pill could make a big difference, especially for the medically vulnerable, but that it is NOT a substitution for the vaccine.

Merck announced the pharmaceutical company will file with the FDA for emergency use authorization.

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