Despite its announcement of new COVID pill, officials still pushing vaccinations.
I find it fascinating that after the drubbing the COVID-restriction embracing Democrats received this week, a board member from one of the entities that have prospered during the pandemic is now willing to put a date on the end of the pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic could be over in the U.S. by the time President Biden’s workplace vaccine mandates take effect in early January, Pfizer board member Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Friday.
The vaccine requirements from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration take effect on Jan. 4 for any company with at least 100 employees. All affected workers must get either their second Moderna or Pfizer shot or one dose from Johnson & Johnson by that date or face regular testing for the virus.
“These mandates that are going to be put in place by Jan. 4 really are coming on the tail end of this pandemic,” said Gottlieb, who’s also a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. “By Jan. 4, this pandemic may well be over, at least as it relates to the United States after we get through this delta wave of infection. And we’ll be in a more endemic phase of this virus.”
In a way, it makes perverse sense. The Biden mandates from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration kick in at that time, so the current occupant of the White House can declare victory.
Additionally, it appears that Pfizer has been very busy this Friday. The company also announced that its experimental pill to treat COVID-19 could cut rates of hospitalization and death by nearly 90 percent.
The New York-based pharmaceutical company said it is no longer taking new patients in a clinical trial of the drug ‘due to the overwhelming efficacy’ and plans to submit data to U.S. regulators soon.
‘We were hoping that we had something extraordinary, but it’s rare that you see great drugs come through with almost 90 percent efficacy and 100 percent protection for death,’ Dr Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer, said in an interview.
…Pfizer’s candidate, which is called PF-07321332, belongs to a class of drugs known as protease inhibitors.
The pill would work by inhibiting an enzyme that the coronavirus uses to make copies of itself inside human cells.
Protease inhibitors have been effective at treating other viral pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis C virus, both on their own and in combination with other antivirals, the company said.
Pfizer believes this class of molecules may provide well-tolerated treatments against COVID-19, as currently marketed therapeutics that work on the same lines have not reported safety concerns.
Protease inhibitors have been used to treat HIV have been known for some time. So, why is this treatment is now potentially hitting the market after 77% of the population has received vaccination?
And given the fact that for most people, the virus causes mild to moderate health impacts, why will vaccinations still be pushed after the new treatment options are added to the line-up?
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC on Friday that despite the company’s promising data on an antiviral oral Covid pill, vaccines and vaccine boosters are still important in the fight against the virus.
“The fact that we have a treatment is not at all a reason not to take the vaccine, in fact we should take the vaccine. Some unfortunately will get the disease,” Bourla said in an interview with “Squawk Box”.
The antiviral pills are “for people that already they got the disease. This is for sick people, the goal here is to prevent people from getting sick,” Bourla said. That’s where Covid booster shots come in, he added. “Boosters are needed because without them we will never get rid of this vicious cycle of the disease.”
Some people still experience harsh breakthrough infections and symptoms, and that’s where Pfizer’s new pill, if approved, would be most useful. “We need to get to herd immunity,” Bourla said.
Our experts have been off with their predictions and assertions throughout most of the pandemic. Let’s hope the New Year does usher in an era of better public health policy.
New Mexico has 85% of everyone over 12 at least partially vaccinated, compared to 79% in Colorado and 76% in Utah. They’ve also had a mask mandate for 2.5 months, while Colorado & Utah haven’t.
So uh, why are their case rates nearly identical?
Anyone asked The Experts™? pic.twitter.com/u5FuccYid5
— IM (@ianmSC) November 4, 2021
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