Local doctor explains how COVID-19 pills will be used

Officials with Pfizer announced on Tuesday that the company is asking the Food and Drug Administration to authorize emergency use of its COVID-19 pill.

>> Pfizer asks FDA for emergency authorization of COVID-19 pill

This was just hours after Pfizer said it will let other manufactures make the COVID pill.

News Center 7′s Mike Campbell asked doctors about how the pills will be used and whether they will be a substitute for vaccinations.

The COVID-19 pills are not yet available in the U.S., and once they are you’ll need a prescription to pick them up.

Doctors emphasize they will not prevent COVID-19 or replace vaccines, they are merely a treatment that can be used after contracting the virus.

“These pills have absolutely nothing to do with vaccines, they are a treatment,” said Dr. Roberto Colon, the chief medical officer at Miami Valley Hospital.

>> Millions of dollars in COVID recovery grants still available for Ohio small businesses

He’s spent better than 18 months treating COVID patients, and he wants to make sure no one gets false hopes that a pill is a cure-all.

“It should never be used as something in place of vaccination, it should not alter the plans for vaccination at all,” Colon said.

Dr. Colon says what the COVID-19 bills can do is hopefully help seriously ill people that contract Covid-19, maybe save their lives.

“It’s not designed to be long-term, you only take it for about 5 days,” Colon said.

Doctors are glad to have the possibility of the pills soon to add to monoclonal antibody therapies for victims of COVID, but only vaccines stop the spread and knock down the chances we will see more variants.

The uncertainty of when treatments, like the pill, might work to them, make vaccines the ultimate answer.

“That could put you outside the treatment window and now you have to fight off the virus without any additional protection,” Colon said.

Doctors say the pills wont necessarily keep you out of the hospital because they are a treatment for after you’ve contracted the virus, but to avoid illness, prevention is the key, which means getting the vaccine.