Pfizer’s chief is touting the drugmaker’s new antiviral pill as a “game-changer” in the fight against COVID-19, but cautions that the best defense against the potentially fatal disease remains getting vaccinated.
Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chair and CEO, said Tuesday that the company’s Paxlovid pill helps stave off coronavirus-related deaths and hospitalizations, with the added bonus of easing the burden on an overtaxed health care system.
“People that are getting sick, unfortunately some of them ending up in hospitals or ending up dying,” he said on “CBS Mornings.” “With this pill, we have now proof that instead of 10 of them going to hospital, only one will go and, frankly, no one died in this study.”
But Paxlovid is a treatment for COVID-19, not a preventative measure, Bourla said, stressing that eschewing vaccination and relying strictly on the pill would be “a very big mistake.”
“Vaccines are needed, people need to prevent getting sick,” he said. “They should not take chances that they may not get seriously sick because there’s a pill that could treat them. People should prevent.”