Germany Buys Pfizer’s Covid Pill Amid Surging Omicron Cases
(Bloomberg) -- Germany is buying 1 million packs of Pfizer Inc.’s newly approved pill to treat Covid-19, securing supplies as infections from the fast-spreading omicron variant rise rapidly.
The Paxlovid drug is “extremely promising” because it can help people who risk falling seriously ill, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told German news agency DPA. The country’s health authorities reported a total of 10,443 omicron cases as of Tuesday, a 43% jump from the previous day.
Doctors will be looking for the Pfizer pill to fill a gap for high-risk patients, who until now have been treated with monoclonal antibody therapies. Germany expects first deliveries of the medication in January, according to DPA.
So far omicron hasn’t shown signs of making an overall impact on Germany’s outbreak, as contagion rates continue to recede from record levels in late November.
On Tuesday, the country reported 215.6 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days, the lowest level since Nov. 9. Germany, which is discussing making shots compulsory, aims to fully inoculate 80% of the population by the end of January, compared with 71% currently.
Thousands of people across Germany gathered on Monday evening to protest the government’s Covid rules and the prospect of a vaccine mandate. Stricter limits on private gatherings took effect on Tuesday, with as many as 10 vaccinated and recovered people allowed to meet. If unvaccinated people are involved, only two people from another household are allowed.
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