On 4/25/2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Aministration (FDA) approved that the treatment of Veklury (remdesivir) is expanded to pediatric patients who are at least 28 days old, 3 kilograms are tested positive with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 and high risk to progress to severe condition.

Current drugs for COVID-19

In U.S., two types of anti-viral drug to effectively treat COVID-19 are Pfizer (Paxlovid) and Merck (Molnupiravir), However, they cannot be used in children due to its ability to block growth of cartilage and bone. Please find the detail in previous blog, Antiviral pills for COVID-19.

Who can use Veklury (remdesivir)?

Before 4/25/2022, Veklury (remdesivir) could only use to treat adult patient and pediatric patients who are at least 12 years old and at least 40 kilograms with COVID-19. After 4/25/2022, the application of Veklury (remdesivir) is expanded to pediatric patients who are at least 28 days old and 3 kilograms to receive treatment because there is not vaccine for those children to prevent hospitalized and death from COVID-19 and also no effective drug to treat COVID-19 in these children.

Potential Side Effects

Possible side effects of using Veklury include increased levels of liver enzymes, which may be a sign of liver injury; and allergic reactions, which may include changes in blood pressure and heart rate, low blood oxygen level, fever, shortness of breath, wheezing, swelling (e.g., lips, around eyes, under the skin), rash, nausea, sweating or shivering.

Veklury (remdesivir) cannot replace vaccine

Although FDA approved the usage of Veklury (remdesivir) in children, this drug could not prevent any infection, hospitalization or death. Once FDA approve the COVID vaccine from Moderna or Pfizer/BNT in children, please bring your kids to receive the vaccine to protect your kids and family from COVID-19.

Conclusion

This is a great news for parents whose kids are less than 12 years old because there is no vaccine and drugs to protect younger kids from COVID-19. The most important thing for these parents is to maintain social distance, wash your hands, and be fully vaccinated until your kids could obtain protection from FDA approved vaccine.

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