'Game-changing' at-home covid treatment could be offered before Christmas

5 December 2021, 09:53

The antiviral pill will be offered to adults who are clinically vulnerable.
The antiviral pill will be offered to adults who are clinically vulnerable. Picture: Alamy

By Elizabeth Haigh

The first at-home treatment for covid could be offered to vulnerable patients before Christmas in the race to protect them from the Omicron variant.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The Molnupiravir antiviral pill - also known as Lagevrio - was approved for use last month in the UK, the first country to do so.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid described the move as a "game-changer".

The Sunday Telegraph reports the NHS is expected to deliver the treatment to clinically vulnerable and immunosuppressed patients who test positive for coronavirus within 48 hours.

Read more: Hammer blow' for travel industry as pre-departure Covid tests return for all UK arrivals

Hospitals and GPs have reportedly been informed that coronavirus medicine delivery units have been established to deliver the treatment as quickly as possible after a clinically vulnerable person contracts the virus.

It comes after England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty cautioned the public over the pill, saying: "I think we probably need to do a rethink of it just to make sure with the new variant, we're targeting in the right direction."

Read more: Pre-departure Covid tests reintroduced for travellers to UK amid Omicron fears

Government reintroduces pre-departure Covid tests for entry to the UK

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: "The UK has proven itself to be a world-leader in identifying and rolling out effective treatments for Covid-19, including through Government-backed national trials.

"The Government's antivirals taskforce was launched to identify treatments for UK patients who have been exposed to Covid-19 to take at home, stopping the infection spreading and speeding up recovery time.

"There are a number of exciting opportunities in the pipeline and we will provide further details in due course."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Venezuela Ecuador Mexico

Venezuela’s main opposition bloc agrees on candidate to challenge Maduro

Azzarello was pictured outside the courthouse a day earlier with a conspiracy sign

'Researcher', 37, set himself on fire outside Donald Trump's hush money trial in shocking 'political protest'

Matt Healy's family have spoken out amid speculation that one of Taylor Swift's new songs is about him.

'Nothing surprises him anymore': Matt Healy's family break silence over claims new Taylor Swift tracks are about him

Geri Halliwell and Christian Horner are said to be in talks for a documentary

Geri Halliwell and Christian Horner 'in talks to make fly-on-the-wall documentary' following 'inappropriate behaviour' row

An officer threatened to arrest the man for 'breaching the peace'

Met police apologise again after 'victim blaming' backlash over threat to arrest 'openly Jewish' man at march

Donald Trump in court

Full jury of 12 and six alternatives selected in Donald Trump hush money trial

Trump Hush Money

Police to review security at Trump courthouse after man sets himself on fire

Donald Trump

Trump’s hush money case to go ahead after judge rejects latest bid to delay

Mark Menzies

Police reviewing claims Tory MP Mark Menzies misused campaign funds to 'pay off bad people'

Trump Hush Money

Man in critical condition after setting himself on fire outside Trump courthouse

Paramedics attended to a person who lit themselves on fire near Manhattan Criminal Court

Horror as man sets himself on fire outside Donald Trump's hush money trial in New York

Jonathan Hogg was attacked by the xl bully (stock image) in Leigh.

Father, 37, mauled to death by XL Bully had 'worst injuries doctor had seen' from 15-minute attack

Iran Mideast Tensions

Israel and Iran play down apparent Israeli air strike near nuclear site

France Iran

Police in Paris detain man wearing fake explosives vest at Iranian consulate

Pakistan Suicide Attack

Japanese workers narrowly escape suicide bombing in Pakistan

An Iranian journalist has said working in the UK is a huge risk.

London is our warzone: Iranian journalist says working in UK is huge risk as ex-minister suggests cutting ties