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COVID-19 WATCH

Covid-19 tablets show promise

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JUNI KRISWANTO/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE ORALLY delivered anti-Covid interventions will ease the long wait for the vaccines in many countries like the Philippines.

A lawmaker on Sunday urged the Department of Health (DoH) to closely look into oral-delivery alternatives to Covid-19 vaccines, said to be in a pill or tablet form, now under clinical trials in the United States.

Partylist Representative Jocelyn Tulfo of ACT-CIS identified the novel preventatives against the coronavirus disease as those manufactured by Vaxart and the collaboration between IosBio and ImmunityBio.

Vaxart’s oral tablet is being tested by Stanford University scientists. Another tablet against Covid in phase three trials was developed by Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, she said.

Unlike most of the Covid-19 vaccines already rolled out, the potential oral-delivery prevention systems would not need cold storage and other special requirements to keep their efficacy.

Vaxart’s and IosBio’s products require two doses while Janssen’s prescribes only a single dose per patient.

“These Covid pills, if they successfully hurdle phase three clinical trials, would be game-changers,” Tulfo said, adding the government should consider granting emergency use authorization (EUA) for the products if they hurdle the tests.

She also sought EUA for the vaccines that have yet to receive them.

“With the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines already with EUA, I suppose Moderna would soon be next and not far behind would be Sinovac of China and the Clover vaccine from Chengdu, China,” Tulfo said.

The lawmaker said the approval by the Food and Drug Administration of the vaccines for local use is “crucial to cultivate trust in the national vaccination plan.”

“Please signal to the general public and the medical community the start of that process soon. That is not giving false hopes.

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