Pfizer says it could have an at-home oral drug to treat COVID-19 available by the end of the year.

The drug, for which Pfizer began early-stage trials in March, belongs to a class of medicines called protease inhibitors, similar to treatments used for HIV and hepatitis C, CNBC reported.

CEO Albert Bourla said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that if the clinical trials are successful, the drug could be available nationwide by year’s end, pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Health experts say the drug could be given to newly infected people outside of hospitals early enough to prevent severe illnesses and hospitalizations, CNBC reported.

Meanwhile, Pfizer, which along with German drugmaker BioNTech developed one of a pair of two-dose coronavirus vaccines currently approved by the FDA, is testing its vaccine on children ages 6 months to 11 years old.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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