COVID-19 jabs remain the only feasible way to safeguard anyone against the coronavirus. It is widely available and most have gotten it.

Others have held off for one reason or another for their reasons. While that is their right, the bottom line is that taking the jab is not only about protecting oneself self but for others that they come across. That has been the subject of debate although an alternative in the form of antiviral pills could be coming out soon.

Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co Inc. are reportedly in the process of developing antiviral pills that have shown promise, Reuters reported. It could be an alternative, especially for people at high risk of serious illness. But the thing is that while studies have shown promise, it has not yet been approved.

Studies have shown positive results. On the part of Pfizer, it reduces the chances of hospitalization or death by 89% in COVID-19 patients if given within three days and 85% if given within five.

Merck, on the other hand, lowered the chances of hospitalization by death by 50% if patients are given the treatment within five days. From those results alone, Pfizer is the most effective.

Pfizer carries the drug Paxlovid while Merck has Lavgevrio.

The intake of Pfizer is three pills in the morning and another three pills at night. Merck is taken at four in the morning and another four at night.

Both drugs are made up of different compositions. As far as the Pfizer drug, there could be possible gastrointestinal side effects and may interfere with other medications.

Merck’s pill is a nucleoside analog with a mechanism of action that aims to introduce errors into the genetic code of the virus.

While these antiviral pills show promise, the limited data released by both companies places its safety up for debate. However, both Pfizer and Merck allege that they are confident about the drug’s safety.

The good news is that the public may soon have an alternative to vaccines with these antiviral pills. But until that time, the available COVID-19 jabs will have to do to add some layer of protection to people against the virus that has already claimed millions of lives.

Pfizer La entrada principal de Pfizer en New York City, Agosto 31, 2003. Reuters/Jeff Christensen JC