An experimental antiviral pill developed by Merck could halve the chances of dying or being hospitalized for those most at risk of contracting severe COVID-19.
That's according to data that experts hailed as a potential breakthrough in how the virus is treated.
If it gets authorization, molnupiravir, which is designed to introduce errors into the genetic code of the virus, would be the first oral antiviral medication for COVID-19.
This and all the latest on Covid-19 the front: let's bring in Dr. Alice Tan, our go-to medical expert.
Dr. Tan, great to have you with us.
Now, we already have treatment options in the market including Gilead Science's infused antiviral remdesivir and generic steroid dexamethasone, both of which are generally only given once a patient has already been hospitalized.
How will this oral antiviral become a game-changer?
If we continue to see such treatment options develop further, would we even need to get vaccinated?
I ask you this because although rare and not life-threatening we do continue to see vaccine side effects even leading some to reconsider getting their second shots. As a medical expert, what are your thoughts on this?
Meanwhile, South Koreans in the 12 to 17 age group begin making online bookings for their Covid vaccinations tonight. As this will be the first time that teenagers in this country will be receiving vaccines, parents and students remain divided on whether they are perfectly comfortable with it.
What's your advice? Are there certain people in this group who should prioritize getting vaccinated and some who should be a little more cautious?
Dr. Alice Tan on all things Covid. Many thanks for your insights.