RAPID CITY, S.D. — Monument Health will receive a supply of the new FDA approved drug developed by Pfizer, to help treat patients with COVID.
Vice President of Medical Affairs at Monument Health, Dr. Shankar Kurra, said the drug (Paxlovid) is as much as 88% effective in preventing hospitalization if given within five days of diagnosis. Currently, the drug is reserved for those at the highest risk of hospitalization – patients over the age of 65 and those who have underlying medical conditions.
“We’ve been promised a supply by the Department of Health, said Dr. Kurra, “to arrive some time this week.”
He contiues to warn against misinformation about other drugs, such as Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin, which are not FDA-approved.
Dr. Kurra says the best defense against COVID is receiving a vaccine and a booster. He is also encouraging the public to get flu shots as cases of influena continue to rise and the first death in South Dakota reported last week.
“This season there are two Influenza A – H1N1 and H3N2,” reports Kurra. The larger number of of case reports is H3N2. The vaccine still protects people from severe illness and death. It’s important to get the vaccine.”
Dr. Kurra says continuing to take precautions such as avoiding large crowds and wearing mask can minimize the impact of illness in the community.