New antiviral drugs could help prevent COVID-19, boosting the efficacy of vaccines and reducing the severity of the infection. They could be handed out to people exposed to the virus or as soon as someone tests positive, potentially stopping them from passing the virus on to other people -- which, if currently available, would have been a huge help to the people of Melbourne.
But given Australians’ reported wariness on getting the AstraZeneca vaccine, would people be happy necking government-sanctioned pills to help stop the spread?
What do the drugs do?
Previous antiviral drugs have worked on severe cases of COVID-19 but not much else: remdesivir shortens recovery time and the steroid dexamethasone reduces mortality for those with severe COVID-19 who also received respiratory support.