CEO says Pfizer’s new pill to treat Covid could be available soon

Dr. Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer.

Pfizer’s experimental oral drug to treat Covid-19 could be available soon, company CEO Albert Bourla told the Delphi Economic Forum VI in Athens on Friday.

“We should be cautious until the end of clinical trials, but the evidence so far is encouraging,” he said.

Bourla explained that the substance the company is working on has been shown to kill the virus and is very safe. He added, however, that any safe conclusions about the substance will be available after the summer.

As for the vaccine against Covid-19 developed with German drugmaker BioNTech, he said he believes a third dose will be needed within 8 to 12 months after the second dose.

The immunity offer by the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is at least six months, he added, noting that a repeat dose would have to be given each year.

He also said that, so far, the vaccine has been able to treat all emerging mutations.

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were found to be 94 percent effective in health care workers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) ongoing largest effectiveness study. 

The interim study results released on Friday further support previous data on the effectiveness of the two vaccines, which use mRNA technology and have been widely administered in the U.S. 

The researchers estimated that those who were fully vaccinated were 94 percent less likely to develop symptomatic COVID-19, while people who were partially vaccinated were 82 percent less likely.

The CDC highlighted that the sample size reached a broader geographic area than the clinical trials, providing more evidence for the effectiveness.