MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There are three new medications to treat COVID-19 that are in the final phase of testing and could be ready by the end of the year.
The antivirals would work much like treatments for other viral infections. For example, Tamiflu is prescribed to shorten the duration of the flu and reduces your chances of being hospitalized. The oral medications would do this for COVID-19 patients.
Baptist Memorial Hospital's infectious disease specialist Dr. Steve Threlkeld says that having medication that would be able to lessen the effects of COVID would have a huge impact even though it might be a couple of years to get testing done.
"That really would be a game changer to be able to provide people with a pill to take that would cut their chance of having more severe illness and to be given earlier on in disease," says Threlkeld.
Doctor Threlkeld continued to stress that the best protection from becoming severely sick or dying from COVID is the free and widely available vaccine. He says that even if you've already had COVID, get the vaccine because it can double the level of protection.