Canada on Monday, January 17, 2022, approved Pfizer Inc’s oral antiviral treatment to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 in people aged 18 and older, according to a notice posted on Health Canada’s website.
Cases and hospitalizations due to the Omicron variant have been rising in Canada, forcing provinces to put restrictions and the federal government to support impacted businesses.
Pfizer’s antiviral regimen, Paxlovid, was nearly 90% effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in patients at high risk of severe illness, according to data from the company’s clinical trial. Recent lab data suggests the drug retains its effectiveness against Omicron, Pfizer said.
Ottawa said last month that it had signed a deal with Pfizer for a million doses of the drug, pending approval by federal health regulators.
The U.S. authorized the treatment for people ages 12 and older last month.