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Opinion
Sam Fazeli

Is the Next Covid Game Changer a Pill?

With many in the world still unvaccinated and cases on the rise, we’ll need more than shots to keep the virus at bay. Antiviral pills may fill the gap.

The Covid fight needs reinforcements. They may come in the form of a pill. 

The Covid fight needs reinforcements. They may come in the form of a pill. 

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Vaccines have been game changers in the fight against Covid-19, offering effective protection against even highly contagious and pathogenic strains such as the delta variant. But with many in the world still unvaccinated and cases on the rise – including among the vaccinated – it’s becoming clear we’ll need more than shots to keep the virus at bay. Here, Sam Fazeli, a Bloomberg Opinion contributor who covers the pharmaceutical industry for Bloomberg Intelligence, answers questions on the next big potential breakthrough in Covid treatments: anti-viral pills under development by Merck & Co. and other drugmakers. The conversation has been edited and condensed.

What’s the importance of antivirals and how can they help us in managing the pandemic?