NEW YORK, NY – A new COVID-19 pill developed by Pfizer that is intended to cut down on serious cases of the virus has been proven effective for elderly persons, those over 65, while ineffective for individuals under the age of 65, according to a recently-released study.
Israeli scientists analyzed data provided by a major healthcare provider in the country, Clalit Health Services, covering 109,213 individuals who had eligibility to receive Pfizer’s Nirmatrelvir pill, also known by the name Paxlovid, between January 9 and March 10.
Of those who were eligible, only 3 percent – approximately 2,500 – took the pill; among those who did not take it, 762 people were hospitalized and 151 died, whereas among those who took the pill, only 14 were hospitalized and 2 died.
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However, among the younger participants in the study, those numbers changed dramatically, according to the researchers conducting the program.
“The findings from our current study suggest that during the omicron variant surge, COVID-19 hospitalizations rates were significantly lower in adults aged 65 years and above in nirmatrelvir treated participants, both in patients with and without prior Covid-19 immunity,” they said. “However, no significant benefit was shown in the younger cohort.”
The death rate of people under the age of 65 who took Paxlovid was 0.07 percent, versus 0.2 percent among those who did not receive the pill; 0.6 percent of those who received Paxlovid were hospitalized, as opposed to 0.5 percent who didn’t take the drug.
The Israeli study – which is based on real-world data when the Omicron virus variant was dominant – has yet to be peer-reviewed. However, health officials in the United States currently recommend Paxlovid as a treatment option for adults who may be at high-risk for developing “severe” cases of COVID-19.