A promising new pill from Pfizer could change COVID as we know it.

On Friday, Pfizer announced that its experimental pill designed to battle COVID showed major promise when it came to reducing the risk of death and hospitalizations related to the coronavirus. More importantly, the pill was also just as effective when it came to high-risk patients who took part in the trial.

Pfizer is hoping to be able to offer the pill by early 2022 which will allow people to take the drug at home before getting sick to a point that would require them to be hospitalized due to COVID. Based on their analysis, there was a nearly 90% reduction "in the risk of hospitalization or death from Covid-19 if patients got it soon enough."

This is especially good news for Louisiana, which has dealt with its own fair share of struggles when it comes to COVID deaths, vaccination rates, not to mention where we rank among those who are at the highest risk.

The company did not release additional details and said they will do so later in a peer-reviewed paper along with its submission to the Food & Drug Administration, according to a report from CNN. This is being called a "game-changer" due to the pill's effectiveness when it comes to those who are most at risk.

The company has been testing the drug in adults with Covid-19 who are considered at high risk of progressing to severe illness. The volunteers have been randomly given either the pill combination or a placebo within three days or five days of their symptoms starting.
The pill, still known by its experimental name PF-07321332, is what's known as a protease inhibitor. It's designed to stop the virus from multiplying. Giving it along with ritonavir slows its breakdown in the body, the company said.

Specialists pointed out that the pills would not be a "replacement" for the COVID vaccine which is still "by far the safest and most effective way to reduce the risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19"—but instead, something that can make a big difference if taken quickly after contracting the COVID-19 virus.

This pill-based treatment is especially important for the immunocompromised or those who may be in an area where the vaccine isn't as readily available.

Another promising sign is that Merck also has their own COVID pill awaiting emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, and that may happen before the end of the year.

All signs point to science giving us more options when it comes to defeating this nasty coronavirus which means finally getting back to the "normalcy" that we've missed over the past two years.

Fingers crossed.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.