Another COVID-19 Milestone

Two COVID-19 Pills are Introduced in the US and UK


Abbiegail Luker

Pfizer has created a pill called “Paxlovid,” and Merck has created a pill called “Lagevrio.” 

Abbiegail Luker, Reporter

About a year ago, three COVID-19 vaccines were approved and released for use in the United States. They were a massively controversial topic, and now that there have been pills introduced, it is likely to be a similar case.

We now have not only one, but two COVID-19 pills. Pfizer has created one in the US called “Paxlovid”. Merck, a company in the UK, has also produced a COVID-19 pill, “Lagevrio.” 

While the COVID-19 vaccines are meant to prevent infection, the pills are meant to lessen COVID-19 symptoms.

Merck announced on Oct. 1 that their pill lowered the chance of hospitalization/death by 50% in patients at risk of critical illness. Lagevrio won regulatory approval on Nov. 4.

On Nov. 5, trial results from Pfizer stated that their pill had lessened the chance of hospitalization/death by 89% in patients at risk for critical illness. 

Merck’s and Pfizers’ pills work very differently from each other. Merck’s pill is designed to inject itself into the virus while it’s replicating so that the infected cells are tricked into making ineffective copies of the virus. Pfizer’s, however, designed their pill to introduce a new compound that can bind to enzymes in the virus, effectively stopping reproduction.

The FDA is currently working on whether or not Pfizer’s pill should be approved, while Merck is currently working on getting the pill distributed around the world. We are expecting to have access to these pills by the end of this year.