Dec 15, 2021 - Health

Biden admin orders enough Pfizer antiviral pills for 10 million Americans

President Joe Biden speaks during the holiday celebration for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) at the Hotel Washington in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 14
President Biden speaks during an event in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden said Tuesday his administration has ordered enough of Pfizer's COVID-19 antiviral pills to treat 10 million Americans, after the company reported the drug reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% in high-risk adults.

Why it matters: Oral antiviral drugs designed to prevent or treat COVID-19 could be key pandemic-fighting tools — something Biden noted in his announcement hours before the coronavirus death toll surpassed 800,000 in the U.S.

What he's saying: Biden said in a statement he's "encouraged" by Pfizer's Phase 2/3 data on its Paxlovid pill, which the company has shared with the FDA as part of its ongoing rolling submission for Emergency Use Authorization.

  • "Getting vaccinated and getting your booster shot remain the most important tools we have to save lives," he said.
  • "But if this treatment is indeed authorized — and once the pills are widely available — it will mark a significant step forward in our path out of the pandemic."

Go deeper ... Biden official warns: COVID explosion imminent

Go deeper