(WDHN) — The Alabama Department of Public Health is reporting over 850,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

And with the two variants, like Delta and Omicron spreading throughout the U.S, the number could become more frightening in a few months.

But, Pfizer manufacturer has found a new way to battle the virus by creating a COVID-19 pill.

“It’s a new tool in our stack to fight this virus,” Dr. Stubblefield said. “It works in a different way than anything we have had before.”

It’s not the first time we heard about a covid pill, Merck and Company invented the treatment in October but it has not been approved by the FDA due to its low effectiveness.

Pfizer says their experiment shows a 90% protection rate against severe disease and reduces hospitalizations and deaths if given to high-risk adults within a few days
of their first symptoms.

“Most people who get it are healthy do okay but some people don’t and that’s just the way it is but for people at risk of severe disease or compromised or have other medical conditions this may be life-saving,” He said.

Since vaccinations became widely available, at this time last year, hospitalizations have been on a decline. Statewide there are 398 COVID-19 patients – 13 of them receiving care at Flowers Hospital and 8 at Southeast Health.

A recent study shows the Pfizer COVID pill is effective against the Omicron variant which is active in states surrounding Alabama. Dr. Stubblefield said that doesn’t mean the treatment can take the place of vaccines, you must use utilize all resources.

We’re not sure about the production of this medication when it will be available, what groups whether the medication will only be available for certain groups, so you don’t know if it will be available for you,” He said.

The next step is for the pill to be approved by the FDA and if it is it will be the first covid treatment that can be picked up at local pharmacies.