Vulnerable Covid patients treated with Paxlovid find symptoms improve ‘within hours’

Coronavirus: 'Wrong time to lift restrictions' says Greenhalgh

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One of the drugs in question is known as Paxlovid.

In trials Paxlovid was found to cut COVID-19 hospital admissions and deaths by 88 percent.

So far the antiviral treatment has been given to more than 6000 patients with the most recent 1400 in the past week.

Like some other antivirals, Paxlovid has been found to relieve symptoms “within hours” of administration.

It isn’t the only drug the UK has procured.

So too has Molnupiravir.

Although not as effective as Paxlovid, studies have nevertheless found the drug can reduce the risk of admission to hospital or death by 30 percent.

The drug was approved in November 2021 and has been used as an at-home treatment for the past five months.

For many these drugs are not just a treatment for Covid, they are literal lifesavers.

Helen West, 56, was given Paxlovid after developing COVID-19.

Ms West describes the effect of Paxlovid as quick: “The process was so quick and efficient. Within six hours of taking the first tablet, I felt a very slight improvement.

“After four days I was back to work. Covid hit me hard, but Paxlovid really made a positive difference to my recovery.”

With regard to who gets the drugs, they are only being administered to the most vulnerable, with the highest risk of being admitted to hospital or becoming seriously ill.

The way the treatment works is by preventing the virus from multiplying in cells; this allows the patient to fight Covid more effectively.

Speaking of the procurements Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Both of our groundbreaking antivirals – Molupiravir and Paxlovid – are available to those most vulnerable to the virus directly through the NHS, and it’s fantastic to see 32,000 patients reaping the benefits.

“For anyone not in this high-risk group, if you’re aged 50 and over or 18 to 49 with an underlying health condition and test positive, you can sign up to the PANORAMIC study to potentially access this treatment too.”

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Clinically Vulnerable Families group said: “We welcome the procurement of antiviral treatments, yet a large number of severely immunosuppressed people are still unable to access them in their moment of need.

“Our recent poll indicated that 94 percent of the severely immunosuppressed were unable to access doses.”

This isn’t the only problem for the immunosuppressed. After the end of free testing and restrictions many are concerned they’ll have to start shielding to protect themselves.

More information on the latest Covid guidance can be found on the government’s website.

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