Experts Urge COVID-19 Treatment in the Endemic Age
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Medical experts stated that COVID-19 still poses health threats even after the pandemic ended. According to World Health Organization or WHO reports, COVID-19 remains a global threat despite the end of the public health emergency declaration. COVID-19 infects all age groups, but the risk of severe illness and hospitalization increases with age.
“Seniors above 50 are still critical to be exposed to COVID-19 even when the pandemic is over, as virus evolution is unpredictable,” said Dr Egemen Ozbilgili, Pfizer Vice President of Asia Cluster Medical Affairs Lead, in a discussion organized by Pfizer on the sidelines of the 27th APSR Congress on Nov. 17, 2023, in Singapore.
As the vaccine is changing due to the virus evolution, Dr. Ozbilgili went on, treatments are also needed. “As vaccination prevents oxygen dependency, ICU admissions, reducing the risk of death, treatment is highly important for high-risk groups such as older adults, people with chronic disease, and immunocompromised patients,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, Prof. Yang Kuang-yao, a committee member of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) for COVID-19 in Taiwan, stated that “Someone who has contracted COVID-19 can suffer from a Long Covid if they don't get proper treatment, or do not get treatment immediately.”
COVID treatment is important to be done early to prevent severe illness or even inflammation which will need different treatments, he added.
He also explained that antiviral treatment is prioritized for seniors above 50 years old, people with underlying health conditions, racial or ethnic minorities, and patients with immunosuppressed conditions.