Will Anti-Vaxxers Take the New Pfizer Covid Pill? | National Review

Will Anti-Vaxxers Take the New Pfizer Covid Pill? | National Review

Paxlovid, Pfizer’s coronavirus pill, is seen manufactured in Ascoli, Italy, November 16, 2021. (Pfizer/Handout via Reuters)

I was initially enthusiastic about the idea that Pfizer had developed a Covid pill which its studies show is nearly 90 percent effective at preventing hospitalizations and death. So the FDA’s emergency authorization struck me as generally good news.

In theory, the drug (named Paxlovid) could be a game changer. People will still have the option of getting vaccinated and boosted. But now, there is a backup option for those who get a breakthrough case, or who choose to go unvaccinated.

On further reflection, however,  I am beginning to wonder how much of a game changer it will really prove to be.

Beyond the short-term supply challenges as production ramps up, there is the issue that to be effective, it requires quick diagnosis. This is obviously a problem now given the difficulty of getting tested and receiving quick results.

But longer-term, even assuming some of the testing problems dissipate, there is the issue of the anti-vaxxers. The idea of having another tool available to keep anti-vaxxers out of the hospital is promising. But it only works if they will actually seek treatment and take the pill. In both cases, it should be considered a question mark.

Those who have refused to get vaccinated at this point are less worried about getting Covid and less likely to go along with public-health guidance. So are they likely to race out to a Covid-testing center at the first sign of symptoms? And even if they do get an early confirmed Covid-positive test, will they take an emergency-authorized pill being produced by Pfizer, the same pharmaceutical giant that’s been demonized by the anti-vaxx community for a year?

Maybe the pill will be an attractive option for those who simply do not like getting shots. But I wonder if, in practice, the people who are willing to take the Pfizer pill are those who got vaccinated and who would promptly get tested. In other words, maybe not a game changer.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.