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COVID-19: Study Finds Paxlovid Reduces Long COVID-19 Risk, Pfizer Shares Bivalent Vaccine Data

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on Nov. 6 released a study indicating that Paxlovid, an oral medication used to treat COVID-19, can reduce the risk of long COVID-19 symptoms. Long COVID-19 is a prolonged illness that develops after COVID-19.

In a study of 56,000 veterans who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, administering Paxlovid in the first five days of infection reduced by 25 percent participants’ risk of developing long COVID-19 conditions, including heart disease, blood disorders, and fatigue.

The study also found that the medication decreased a person’s risk of long COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status or whether they were previously infected. Additionally, the report found that Paxlovid reduced the chance of hospitalization or death related to the virus.

Pfizer Report Indicates Stronger Immune Response after Bivalent Vaccination

Pfizer and BioNTech on Nov. 4 shared updated clinical data about their bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines, citing that the shot substantially increases immune responses in individuals ages 12 and older compared with the original COVID-19 vaccine.

The bivalent formulations of the vaccines target not only the original SARS-CoV-2 variant, but also the current BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, which are more transmissible and immune-evading.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reported Nov. 4 that early safety findings regarding Pfizer and Moderna bivalent booster vaccines are consistent with previous reports for the original monovalent booster vaccines, adding that adverse events reported after a bivalent booster dose are less common and less serious than health effects associated with COVID-19 illness.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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