Australia has just purchased supplies of two new COVID-19 treatment drugs that will dramatically reduce the likelihood of serious symptoms and death in COVID-19 patients in hospital once the country has fully reopened.
According to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt this morning, Australia will receive 15,000 doses of Ronapreve, a newly tested “intravenous treatment” for COVID-19.
Developed by Roche Products, it’s an antibody-based drug that will be used in hospitals to help treat COVID-19 patients with a struggling immune system and that are unvaccinated.
Side note: it’s worth mentioning that while Hunt says it “has a 70% reduction in the likelihood of hospitalisations or loss of life”, your best protection against getting seriously ill from the virus is to get vaccinated.
The doses are expected to arrive in Australia by the end of October and will then be needed to be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA). So far, that approval is looking very promising.
Hunt also said that the country has secured 500,000 doses of Pfizer’s new oral anti-viral drug, which people can take early into their period having COVID-19. If clinical trials pull through, it should be available sometime in 2022.
“There have been four frontline treatments that complement vaccinations but do not replace vaccinations,” he explained.
The four COVID-19 treatment drugs include the two announced today, as well as Sotrovimab, an antibody treatment that is already in use in Australia, and Molnupiravir, an antiviral pill. Australia has acquired 31,000 units of Sotrovimab, 21,000 of which have arrived already, and 300,000 units of Molnupiravir, which is expected to make its way here in early 2022.
As of today, 84.6 percent of Australia’s 16 and over population has received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 67.8 percent of the country being fully vaccinated. Yesterday, New South Wales, hot off the high of reaching 70 percent full vaccinated, had officially administered both doses of the vaccine to 80% of the state. Today, Victoria has sped up the first phase of its Roadmap out of lockdown as the state is set to reach its 70% double-dosed vaccination target by mid next week