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Welsh residents receive antiviral Covid tablets

Hundred of Welsh citizens who are at a higher risk of catching Covid-19 have been sent the new antiviral tablets which aim to reduce the severity of Covid symptoms if they were to contract Covid.

The rollout of the tablets, also known as molnupiravir, are part of a clinical trial rand by Oxford University as part of the Panoramic study.

People aged 50 and over and anyone aged 18 and above with underlying health conditions can be part of the study, providing they have a positive Covid-19 test and have had symptoms for less than five days.

Notifications have been sent to anyone who has received a positive PCR test that fits the criteria. The tablets are then delivered to their door within the next 24 hours.

Dr Andrew Carson-Stevens, principal investigator for Wales for the Panoramic study and Health and Care Research Wales speciality lead for primary care, said: "This is such an important development in how we treat and manage Covid-19, especially to those most vulnerable, and I'm so proud that Wales will play an integral part.

"If you fit the study criteria you will be randomised into one of two groups – one to receive the antiviral and standard care and another group which will receive standard care. If you are in the group to receive the new antiviral treatments, you will be sent your medication in the post. Everyone involved will be asked to fill out a daily symptom diary online."

The drug was developed by US drug company Merck and was approved for use in the UK in early November.

Experts believe that the drug will be effective against all strands of the virus and so far, there are no indicators to say that it will be any less effective against Omicron.

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