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S. Korea to receive COVID-19 oral treatment for 31,000 patients in January Updated: 2022-01-13 08:07:27 KST

South Korea has secured enough COVID-19 pills for more than 1 million people, of which 760-thousand will be Pfizer's.
The first shipment of pills for 21-thousand people will arrive at Incheon Airport at noon on Thursday.
This is part of 31-thousand courses in total that will be delivered to the country in January.
The pills will be distributed for use nationwide as early as this Friday.
Officials say that up to a thousand people can be treated in a day, and the pills will be delivered to 91 residential treatment centers as well as some 280 pharmacies.

Priority will be given to seniors aged 65 and over, and those with weak immune systems, who are being treated at home and at residential treatment centers.
That's because these groups are at higher risk of becoming severely ill.
Clinical trials showed that the treatment was 88-percent effective in reducing hospitalizations and deaths.
In order for the treatment to work, patients must take three pills, twice daily, within the first five days of symptoms appearing.
Because of this narrow window, officials have vowed to quickly hand out prescriptions, even late at night, during holidays, and also remotely.
The prescribed medicine can also be picked up by somebody else on a patient's behalf from the pharmacy or delivered to their home.

T} Meanwhile, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by U.S. drugmaker Novavax has been granted regulatory approval for use in the country.
The Novavax jab is a protein subunit vaccine, that uses more conventional technology compared to mRNA vaccines.
So watchers say there are fewer concerns about side effects, and storage is relatively easy.
The vaccine has shown to be around 90-percent effective in clinical trials.
Korea has secured 40 million doses of the vaccine, and with this greenlight, authorities are planning to offer them to those who are yet to be vaccinated, possibly starting in February.
Choi Min-jung, Arirang News.
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