Health officials react to new COVID drug

(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Pharmaceutical giant Merck recently released news that trials of Molnupiravir, a COVID-19 drug reduces the risks of death or hospitalizations in patients with moderate or mild COVID-19 infections by nearly 50 percent.اضافة اعلان

Jordan News spoke with local health professionals to see what the news could mean for the Kingdom. 

Mohanned Al-Nsour, a member of the National Committee for Epidemiology, said in an interview with Jordan News that the drug is still in its first stages. 

He added: “Some people could be sensitive to the vaccine and the drug could be useful and more convenient for a specific age group as it is an oral antiviral.” 

Nsour said: “The drug and the nature of the virus are two different things. The drug can help in reducing deaths and hospitalizations only.”

He added that any new drug will raise doubts around it as people need some time to see the side effects and its effectiveness before trusting it. Therefore, there will be many people who will be hesitant to take the drug. 

“The drug cannot be an alternative for the vaccine. It works on preventing deaths and it is given for active cases, but the vaccine works on reducing the infection rate,” Nsour said. 

He added that regarding the approval of the drug in Jordan, the Jordan Food and Drug Admistration (JFDA) is the one responsible for approving new drugs and vaccines in the country. Therefore, when the safety and effectiveness of the drug are proven by the JFDA, the drug will be approved to be used in the country.  

A citizen, who lost someone dear to them due to COVID-19, told Jordan News that “we need this drug and any medication that could reduce the death and infection rates to make the world safe somehow.

In the future even if the virus is still among us the damage will be reduced by taking such drugs, in addition to the vaccine, as we have to protect ourselves in any possible way.”

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