Pfizer has just released recent data showing the effectiveness of their new antiviral Covid pill against the Omicron variant. On Tuesday, three separate laboratory test reports showed promising results of the Covid pill Paxlovid in neutralizing the coronavirus during their trials.

According to Forbes, amid all the uncertainty over the effectiveness of the current COVID-19 treatments over the newest mutation, Pfizer said Paxlovid is 89% effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalizations as well as death among high-risk COVID-19 patients.

In its press release, Pfizer noted that the key ingredient in Paxlovid, nirmatrelvir, showed significant effectiveness at staving off an enzyme the virus needs to replicate in both its original variant and the Omicron variant. 

“We specifically designed PAXLOVID to retain its activity across coronaviruses, as well as current variants of concern with predominantly spike protein mutations,” Dr. Michael Dolsten, Pfizer's chief science officer, said in the statement.

Omicron has been found to be a highly mutated variant of the coronavirus and displayed the ability to bypass vaccines and other Covid treatments since its emergence last year. Pharmaceutical companies have been racing to tweak vaccines and amping up booster shots to keep up and find effective treatments against the new mutant strain and other strains that may develop later on. 

Dolsten added that the antiviral pill showed 90% effectiveness if taken early in infection as they continue to monitor the treatment activity in real-world settings to validate the findings.

Paxlovid is administered in three pill doses and should be taken twice a day for five days. For high-risk persons, the pill should be taken upon getting positive test results to prevent further deterioration of their symptoms and pre-existing health conditions.

The pill can be prescribed by doctors to an infected person who can easily take the medication while at home. The same applies to Merck’s molnupiravir, which has been lauded by health experts for their ease of access in acquiring the drug compared to other medications. 

As it is, the US government has approved and ordered 20 million treatment courses of Paxlovid, all of which are expected to be distributed this year after the Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization for high-risk patients.

The only tangent for Paxlovid is centered on manufacturing issues whereby promised supplies for worldwide use may not be met for 2022. Pfizer hopes to boost its production in France this year with investments worth $600 million funneled into the country.

A nurse reaches for a vial of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a pop up vaccine clinic A nurse reaches for a vial of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a pop up vaccine clinic in the Arleta neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, August 23, 2021. The US Food and Drug Administration on August 23, fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid shot, triggering a new wave of vaccine mandates as the Delta variant batters the country. Around 52 percent of the American population is fully vaccinated, but health authorities have hit a wall of vaccine hesitant people, impeding the national campaign. Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images