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Bolivia authorizes the use of the Molnupiravir COVID-19 pill – World News in Spanish

On Tuesday, the Bolivian State Agency for Medicines and Health Technologies (AGEMED) authorized the use of the Merck Molnupiravir pill to treat patients infected with COVID-19.

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This antiviral is administered during the first five days of diagnosis of the disease, when patients are likely to present mild or moderate symptoms, and prevents the SARS-CoV-2 virus from replicating by introducing errors in its genetic code.

The full treatment requires 20 pills, which cost about $7.5 each and have been shown to be more than 50 percent effective in preventing deaths and hospitalizations. In Bolivia, the commercialization of the Molnupiravir pill will be carried out by certified laboratories. Its sale is under medical prescription.

“This medication can cause side effects such as headache, nausea, diarrhea, and birth defects during pregnancy. Therefore, it is very important for doctors to determine whether or not it is safe to treat a patient with it,” Health Minister Jeyson Auza said.

He also highlighted that the Molnupiravir pill does not replace the preventive effect of vaccines against COVID-19 since it has not been shown to produce immunization. “We must then continue to maintain health protection measures and advance in the mass vaccination campaign,” Auza stressed.

So far, 6.5 million Bolivians have received at least one vaccine from Pfizer, Sputnik, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm and 42.7 percent of the population is fully immunized against the coronavirus.

As of January 19, this South American country reported 774,227 cases of COVID-19 and 20,377 related deaths, 86 of which occurred in the last 24 hours.

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