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Pfizer Seeks Approval for COVID Pill, Agrees to Deal to Make It Available in 95 Poorer Countries

HeadlineNov 17, 2021

As COVID-19 cases continue to creep up in the U.S., averaging around 85,000 daily cases, the Biden administration plans to purchase 10 million courses of Pfizer’s new COVID pill. Paxlovid has been shown to reduce hospitalization and death by nearly 90% in high-risk adults during trials. Pfizer requested emergency use authorization for the oral treatment on Tuesday. This comes as Pfizer announced a deal to make the pill available more cheaply in 95 low- and middle-income nations by allowing it to be manufactured as a generic. Vaccine and health equity advocates say the move is a good first step, but condemned the fact that the deal excluded so many countries. Doctors Without Borders said, “The world knows by now that access to COVID-19 medical tools needs to be guaranteed for everyone, everywhere, if we really want to control this pandemic.” Meanwhile, vaccine makers continue to report massive profits from COVID treatments. Oxfam found that Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna are making combined profits of more than $1,000 every second, or $65,000 every minute.

In more vaccine news, the FDA is expected to authorize Pfizer booster shots for all adults as early as this week. A number of states have already expanded booster eligibility to all vaccinated adults.

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