AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) – The battle against COVID-19 is far from over, but Colorado doctors said there are five recent developments that make them hopeful.
“We have a bunch of new stuff coming in the pipeline,” said Dr. Michelle Barron, the senior medical director of infection prevention at UCHealth.
#1 – Barron said AstraZeneca is seeking authorization for an antibody treatment to prevent COVID. This could be especially helpful for elderly or immunosuppressed patients who do not develop robust immune responses to the COVID vaccination.
Data showed that people exposed to the virus were 80% less likely to end up hospitalized with this preventative treatment. “That’s pretty exciting news,” Barron said.
#2 – Merck is seeking approval for a pill to treat COVID symptoms.
Dr. Eric Hill, an emergency physician at the Medical Center of Aurora, said this could be a real game changer.
He said the company is reporting a 50% decrease in serious hospitalizations and or death.
#3 – Both doctors are hopeful that the Pfizer vaccine will be approved for kids ages 5 to 11 in the coming weeks.
Hill said that’s very important since kids are back in school.
#4 – At least for now, hospitalization rates are not going up.
“The levels have kind of plateaued,” Dr Hill said.
#5 – Doctors said more data is coming in about the effectiveness of vaccines and the potential timing for boosters.
New research shows six months after the second dose, the Pfizer vaccine is 90% effective at preventing hospitalization, but only 47% effective at preventing infection.