Effectiveness of Paxlovid, an Oral Antiviral Drug, Against the Omicron BA.5 Variant in Korea: Severe Progression and Death Between July and November 2022.

Publication date: Jul 10, 2023

Paxlovid is an oral antiviral drug that received emergency use authorization in South Korea for the treatment of patients with mild-to-moderate coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on January 14, 2022. Since the onset of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic, the virus has continued to evolve. The emergence of new variants has raised concerns about possible reductions in the effectiveness of vaccines and drugs. The effectiveness of Paxlovid in patients infected with the omicron variant and subvariants has not yet been determined. This study assessed the effectiveness of Paxlovid at reducing the risk of severe/critical illness or death and death in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 caused by omicron subvariant BA. 5. In this nationwide retrospective cohort study, data on 8,902,726 patients were collected from four sources (the Drug Utilization Review database, COVID-19 Patient Information Management System, confirmed patient information, and basic epidemiological investigation data) between July 1 and November 30, 2022. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was conducted, with adjustment for age, sex, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 immunity (vaccination), and comorbidities. A total of 1,936,925 patients with COVID-19 were included in the analysis, including 420,996 patients treated with Paxlovid, and 1,515,959 patients not treated with Paxlovid. Paxlovid treatment in patients aged ≥ 60 years of age was associated with significantly reduced risk of severe/critical illness or death (46. 0%), and death rate (32. 5%), and its effectiveness was high, regardless of vaccination status. Paxlovid is effective at reducing the risk of death due to COVID-19 in patients with omicron BA. 5 infection, especially in older patients, regardless of vaccination status. This suggests that older patients with COVID-19-related symptoms should be administered Paxlovid, regardless of their vaccination status, to reduce severity and risk of death.

Concepts Keywords
Coronavirus COVID-19
Epidemiological Omicron Variants
July Oral antiviral drug
Korean Paxlovid


Type Source Name
disease VO effectiveness
disease MESH Death
disease MESH emergency
disease MESH coronavirus disease 2019
disease VO Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
disease MESH critical illness
disease VO vaccination
disease VO effective
disease MESH infection

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