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Photo: Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pfizer released new data Tuesday morning confirming Paxlovid, its oral antiviral pill for COVID, reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% in high-risk adults.

Driving the news: The company said it shared the Phase 2/3 data with the FDA as part of its ongoing rolling submission for Emergency Use Authorization.

Why it matters: Oral antiviral drugs designed to prevent or treat COVID-19 could be key pandemic-fighting tools.

The details: In November, Pfizer released interim data for the antiviral that found an 89% reduction in high-risk patients.

  • Pfizer said there is an ongoing interim analysis of a second study of the pill which has so far shown a 70% reduction in hospitalization among standard-risk adults.
  • A key FDA advisory panel endorsed an antiviral pill developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics in late November.

What they're saying: "Emerging variants of concern, like Omicron, have exacerbated the need for accessible treatment options for those who contract the virus, and we are confident that, if authorized or approved, this potential treatment could be a critical tool to help quell the pandemic," said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla in a statement.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: The end of the Omicron wave is in sight — Transplants rebound from COVID lull.
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden to announce plan to distribute 400 million masks for free — Government website for free COVID tests launches early.
  4. World: WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker
27 mins ago - Health

Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

America is seeing more COVID hospitalizations than other wealthy countries during the Omicron surge, according to Our World in Data.

Why it matters: Vaccines keep the vast majority of COVID cases out of the hospital, but vaccination rates are also lower in the U.S. than these other countries.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: The end of the Omicron wave is in sight — Transplants rebound from COVID lull.
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden to announce plan to distribute 400 million masks for free — Government website for free COVID tests launches early.
  4. World: WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker