Alabamians weigh in on Pfizer COVID-19 pill

Coronavirus

BIRMINGHAM Ala. (WIAT) — As the Omicron variant continues to spread throughout the United States, a new medical treatment could be on the way.

Pfizer says their new COVID pill works against the new variant and is preventing close to 90% of hospitalizations and deaths in patients they’ve been tested in.

While it still needs to go through FDA approval, medical experts like Dr. Wes Stubblefield with the Alabama Department of Public Health are eager to see what’s to come.

“But again, very very exciting news,” said Dr. Stubblefield.

Residents like Trey Anger and Ashley Carillo say they would take the pill if they were sick with the virus.

“No hesitation,” said Anger.

Dr. Stubblefield says the pill isn’t a substitute to the vaccine, but it’s vital to have multiple medical treatments for any deadly disease.

“To have a second option for those high risk moving forward, as long as it is identified early, it’s really really exciting,” said Dr. Stubblefield.

“If you do get sick, it’s like if you have any type of cold. You don’t want to just rush to the doctor all the time,” said Anger. “Some people are going to take Advil for it, so, why not do the exact same thing with this?”

While there are still more tests to run, Dr. Stubblefield is confident with the science.

“We’ve developed one of the safest, most effective vaccines that’s ever been known to mankind in a pace that has never been known to mankind,” said Dr. Stubblefield.

And until then, experts say being vaccinated and practicing caution can limit the spread.

“We’ll take more precautions when we go out. Like we will wear a mask we will wash our hands more frequently, constantly,” said Carillo. “Just keeping up with good hygiene.”

The FDA is expected to decide soon whether or not to approve Pfizer’s pill or a competing pill from Merck. If approved, it would be the first COVID treatment that can be picked up at a local pharmacy.

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