NHSE launches new antiviral COVID-19 treatment

NHS England (NHSE) has launched a ‘cutting edge’ antiviral home treatment for people with COVID-19 who are most likely to be admitted to hospital. 

The new paxlovid treatment is said to improve symptoms ‘within hours’ and helps patients fight the infection and recover at a ‘faster’ rate by stopping the virus multiplying in the body.  

Within the NHSE statement, the organisation highlights that the treatment reduced hospitalisations by 88% during clinical trials and has been provided to more than 6,000 to date.  

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS National Medical Director said: “It’s fantastic that since launching the latest antiviral treatment paxlovid just over a month ago, thousands of our most vulnerable patients have already had access to this latest cutting-edge, life-saving treatment. 

“Antivirals are another weapon in our arsenal to reduce hospital admissions and fatalities amongst patients at highest risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 and needing hospitalisation – each and every person treated with the new drugs is testament to how the NHS is doing everything possible to protect those who are at most risk. 

“Getting vaccinated is still the best way to protect you and your loved ones from COVID, and to date, our world leading vaccination programme has delivered over 119 million doses – including more than 32 million boosters – and I would urge anyone who hasn’t yet been jabbed to come forward for your first, second or booster jab as soon as possible”. 

Sajid Javid, Health and Social Care Secretary, added: “We have secured more antivirals per head than any other country in Europe – almost five million doses for NHS patients. Both of our ground-breaking antivirals – molnupiravir and paxlovid – are available to those most vulnerable to the virus directly through the NHS, and it’s fantastic to see 32,000 patients reaping the benefits.”