Antiviral shown to reduce COVID hospitalization risk by half — CDC study

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention links the antiviral drug Paxlovid with reducing the risk of hospitalization by more than half for people infected with COVID-19. U.S. adults with mild to moderate COVID who got Paxlovid within five days of diagnosis had a 51% lower hospitalization rate than those who did not take the drug, the study released Tuesday found. “This study demonstrates that Paxlovid provides protection against severe COVID-19-associated outcomes among persons for whom it is recommended, including those with vaccine-conferred immunity, and that it is underutilized among eligible persons with COVID-19,” the researchers wrote. “In this analysis, only 28% of eligible persons were prescribed Paxlovid.” Further study is needed on the drug’s impact on duration and intensity of COVID-19 symptoms, the researchers wrote, adding that, “Paxlovid should be offered to eligible persons to protect against COVID-19 hospitalizations, irrespective of vaccination status, and especially among groups with the highest risk for severe outcomes, such as older adults and those with multiple underlying health conditions.”

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