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Covid Relapse Symptoms, Positive Tests After Paxlovid Are Common, Study Says

  • Pfizer pills still recommended for high-risk Covid patients
  • Rebound may stem from lingering virus replicating after pills
Pfizer Inc.’s Paxlovid antiviral medication.

Pfizer Inc.’s Paxlovid antiviral medication.

Photographer: Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg

Resurgence of Covid-19 symptoms in patients treated with Pfizer Inc.’s Paxlovid appeared far more common than has been reported, and rebounding patients still risked spreading the disease, doctors said in a report on a series of cases in a top medical journal.

The article published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine documented 13 fully vaccinated patients whose rapid Covid tests turned strongly positive and symptoms reappeared several days after finishing five-day courses of Paxlovid. One patient apparently transmitted the virus to a six-month-old baby during rebound, while another who spent time with his wife, brother- and sister-in-law just as his rebound was beginning saw all three become infected.