New treatment may help reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations

(FILE)(Live 5)
Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 12:55 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Omicron variants of the coronavirus are putting researchers and doctors to the test.

A new treatment is on the horizon for people whose bodies do not respond to the vaccine.

Doctor Costi Sifri with UVA Health says vaccines have been very safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and death.

Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows a new way to combat the virus.

“This Therapeutic Interferon Lambda had the ability to prevent serious consequences of COVID against ER visits and hospitalizations by about 50%,” Dr. Sifri said Friday, February 10.

Dr. Sifri says this is important for people who are vaccine-resistant, or those who have drug interactions with Paxlovid. He says there are no monoclonal antibody treatments that work on the current omicron variants.

“We all acknowledge that children are at much much less risk for serious consequences of COVID than people who are older, especially people who have pre-existing medical conditions or other challenges that would expose them to high risk of COVID infection,” Sifri said.

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