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Taiwan imports 180,000 courses of oral COVID drug Paxlovid

Total order of 700,000 courses will have arrived by end second quarter

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Taiwan has received 180,000 courses of Pfizer's Paxlovid COVID pill. (AP, Pfizer photo)

Taiwan has received 180,000 courses of Pfizer's Paxlovid COVID pill. (AP, Pfizer photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The first 180,000 courses of the oral COVID-19 drug Paxlovid out of 700,000 ordered from Pfizer have arrived in Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Friday (April 22).

The country is fighting off a surge in the number of local infections, with the daily total reaching a record 3,766 Friday. Vaccination has been a key element of the CECC strategy, with the administering of oral drugs to help out.

Delivery of the Paxlovid drugs was expected to be completed during the second quarter, with severe COVID cases listed as priority recipients, CNA reported. Experts said taking Paxlovid could save lives, though the combination with other drugs might pose risks to people also suffering from other ailments.

There are at least 10 other types of drugs that cannot be used at the same time, and 35 more that might interact with Paxlovid and produce negative side effects, the reports said. As a result, administration of the COVID drug needs to be closely supervised to prevent potentially dangerous results.