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EDITORIAL | In search for alternatives




ON TOP of the usual uncertainties such as the shortage of vaccines and how inoculation can be served to those who need it most at the soonest time possible, we have to deal with the misconceptions and confusion regarding vaccines.

The spread of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, according to Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), “creates a really powerful pandemic to the real pandemic.”

To address this disinformation, non profit organizations, media and WebMD in the US are doing a campaign called VaxFacts primarily to provide “facts and tools to help consumers make informed decisions about vaccines.

Many well-meaning people are trying to help by looking at alternative drugs that are cheap and readily available to stem further infections. Caution is however necessary to avoid adding to the confusion wrought by the pandemic.

In April 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration wrote a letter to its stakeholders cautioning them on the use of the drug Ivermectin intended for animals as treatment for COVID-19 in humans.

The FDA letter said “Ivermectin tablets are approved for use in people for the treatment of some parasitic worms (intestinal strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis) and ivermectin topical formulations are approved for human use by prescription-only for the treatment of external parasites such as head lice and skin conditions such as rosacea. Ivermectin is FDA-approved for use in animals for prevention of heartworm disease in some small animal species, and for treatment of certain internal and external parasites in various animal species.”

Science and clinical studies on the drugs to combat COVID-19 should be the gauge in our decision making.

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