Pfizer to Study COVID Pill For High-Risk Children

    Image copyright: Getty Images [via Politico]

    The Facts

    • Pfizer has started a mid-to-late stage study of its antiviral COVID pill, Paxlovid, for non-hospitalized children ages 6-17 who are at risk of developing severe illness.

    • Currently there are no authorized oral antiviral treatments for children with COVID in the US; Paxlovid is authorized for emergency use in kids 12 or older and high-risk adults.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    It's important for drug companies to work on COVID treatments for children, as vaccination has been shown to be less effective for preventing urgent care visits and hospitalizations for kids than teenagers.

    Narrative B

    Vaccination remains the best protection for everyone, including children, against COVID infection. These treatments might not be available for a while and we should be encouraging vaccination.

    Cynical narrative

    Pfizer, which made $37 billion from vaccine sales in 2021, is profiting off the pandemic. The sale of treatments, in addition to shots, will only increase their earnings in 2022. We ought to focus first on making treatments and vaccinations more affordable and accessible around the world.

    Sign up to our daily newsletter