Paxlovid Lowers Risk of COVID-19 Hospitalization, Study Finds

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Feb. 22, 2024 -- The risk of being hospitalized because of COVID-19 was reduced by 84% among people who used Paxlovid, reports a new study.

This medicine has been approved for use in the United States for people over 12 years old who are at risk of having a severe COVID-19 infection. 

The study was published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

Study authors examined the health records of almost 45,000 outpatients who tested positive for COVID-19 from January to August 2022. This sample period was when the Omicron strain was dominant.

The average patient age was 47, with 62% being white, 24% being Black, 6% Hispanic, and 8% with an unknown ethnicity. A slight majority, 51%, had received two or more vaccine doses before the study period.

From the study group, 201 people were hospitalized within 28 days of their positive COVID test.

Almost 5,000 people in the study group received Paxlovid. The use of Paxlovid was the best indicator of avoiding hospitalization, with three of those people being hospitalized.

“Patients who were treated with Paxlovid were twice as likely to have received at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccine,” the University of Minnesota’s CIDRAP reported. “They were also more likely to be 70 years or older.”

People taking Paxlovid were more likely to be white and to live in middle- or upper-income areas.

“COVID-19 hospitalization risk was reduced by 84% among [Paxlovid] recipients in a large, diverse healthcare system during the Omicron wave,” the study’s authors wrote. “These results suggest that [Paxlovid] remained highly effective in a setting substantially different than the original clinical trials.”