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Health Ministry grants emergency approval to Pfizer’s anti-COVID pill

Image provided by Pfizer in October 2021 shows the company's COVID-19 Paxlovid pills. (Pfizer via AP)
Image provided by Pfizer in October 2021 shows the company's COVID-19 Paxlovid pills. (Pfizer via AP)

The Health Ministry grants emergency approval to Paxlovid, the anti-viral oral medication developed by Pfizer to fight COVID.

According to the ministry, Israel has signed a deal with Pfizer for the drug and a shipment is expected to arrive in the coming days.

Last week, the US Federal Drug Administration also granted emergency authorization for the pill among those ages 12 and up. The drug is said to have mild side effects and has shown a nearly 90% reduction in hospitalizations and deaths among patients most likely to get severe disease.

Patients at the greatest risk for COVID complications are instructed to take the pill within 3-5 days of the onset of symptoms, the ministry says. It is expected to be equally effective against the new Omicron variant.

The ministry did not say how many doses of the medication Israel has purchased and how many will arrive in the first shipment.

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