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Therapeutics and the part they play in the fight against COVID

A nurse enters a monoclonal antibody site. (Marta Lavandier/AP Photo)
A nurse enters a monoclonal antibody site. (Marta Lavandier/AP Photo)

Vaccines are still the first, best way to end the pandemic. But can treatments like monoclonal antibodies and Pfizer’s new antiviral pill help in the fight?

“If you can have something by mouth that can quickly be taken and can, at least in the case of the Pfizer candidate, truly decrease hospitalization by 89% in someone who is high-risk, you are really defanging the virus,” Dr. Nahid Bhadelia says.

The FDA says there are more than 400 new COVID treatments at the trial stage. Affordability and availability will be a challenge. But even there, things are looking up.

“We are seeing innovative ways for how people are getting monoclonal antibodies to patients, including drive-up windows, drive-up service and treatment in people’s own homes,” Dr. Preeti Malani says.

Today, On Point: Therapeutics and the part they’ll play in the fight against COVID-19.

Guests

Dr. Preeti Malani, chief health officer and professor of infectious diseases at the University of Michigan. (@PreetiNMalani)

Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, founding director of Boston University’s Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy & Research. (@BhadeliaMD)

Dr. George Yancopoulos, president and chief scientific officer at Regeneron. (@Regeneron)

Dr. James Crowe, professor at Vanderbilt University. Director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center. (@VUMC_Vaccines)

Also Featured

Alice Carter, Boston-based professor of psychology, treated for COVID with monoclonal antibodies.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.