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According to experts, oral antivirals like Merck’s appear to be the most promising weapon, along with vaccines, to fight the pandemic. Provided they are affordable, antivirals may be particularly important to those who have not been vaccinated, either by choice or due to limited access or economic problems.

“People are not afraid to take a tablet,” says Seley-Radtke, “plus the tablets are easy to store and store and do not require special storage conditions and can be shipped all over the world.”

Last June, US President Joe Biden announced an investment of over one billion dollars (about 880 million euros) to advance the development of antivirals against COVID-19. Under the same plan, he has also pledged an additional $ 1.2 billion (over € 1 billion) funding to search for new substances to treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other emerging potentially pandemic viruses.

“Finally, the government and funding agencies are seriously considering this situation,” says Seley-Radtke about the development of antivirals. “We can’t keep sitting here waiting for a new pandemic to break out. We have to be proactive, we have to be prepared ”.

In Italy, the extraordinary commissioner Francesco Paolo Figliuolo has received the mandate from the Ministry of Health to acquire 50 thousand treatment cycles for each of the two antiviral medicines produced by Merck and Pfizer and Nicola Magrini, general director of the Medicines Agency (Aifa) announced that the anti Covid pill “will be available in the weeks following Christmas”.

How antivirals work

Unlike bacteria, viruses are unable to reproduce on their own and rely on the mechanism of their host’s cell to replicate. This means that a virus must penetrate a living cell and hijack its mechanism to make thousands of copies of itself. These “descendants” then move and infect neighboring cells, spreading the disease within the body and finally among new carriers.

According to experts, oral antivirals like Merck’s appear to be the most promising weapon, along with vaccines, to fight the pandemic. Provided they are affordable, antivirals may be particularly important to those who have not been vaccinated, either by choice or due to limited access or economic problems.

“People are not afraid to take a tablet,” says Seley-Radtke, “plus the tablets are easy to store and store and do not require special storage conditions and can be shipped all over the world.”

Last June, US President Joe Biden announced an investment of over one billion dollars (about 880 million euros) to advance the development of antivirals against COVID-19. Under the same plan, he has also pledged an additional $ 1.2 billion (over € 1 billion) funding to search for new substances to treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other emerging potentially pandemic viruses.

“Finally, the government and funding agencies are seriously considering this situation,” says Seley-Radtke about the development of antivirals. “We can’t keep sitting here waiting for a new pandemic to break out. We have to be proactive, we have to be prepared ”.

In Italy, the extraordinary commissioner Francesco Paolo Figliuolo has received the mandate from the Ministry of Health to acquire 50 thousand treatment cycles for each of the two antiviral medicines produced by Merck and Pfizer and Nicola Magrini, general director of the Medicines Agency (Aifa) announced that the anti Covid pill “will be available in the weeks following Christmas”.How antivirals work

Unlike bacteria, viruses are unable to reproduce on their own and rely on the mechanism of their host’s cell to replicate. This means that a virus must penetrate a living cell and hijack its mechanism to make thousands of copies of itself. These “descendants” then move and infect neighboring cells, spreading the disease within the body and finally among new carriers.

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