Opinion | COVID Next Moves (and how we Fight Omicron)

By Daniel O’Connor and Stephen Ditmore

As we face the prospect of a third COVID winter with only a vaccinate & mask response, a needed third leg is missing: effective early treatment, especially measures that mitigate transmission associated with nasal/upper respiratory viral replication of the type that can occur in the noses of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons. [To see a 2:45 min. video on why SARS-CoV-2 replication in the nasopharynx is a problem, click here. While new oral antiviral drugs from Merck and Pfizer may be of use, we need to improve and keep improving our ability to intervene early by designing effective cocktails even as we deploy what we already have available, and by doing good science in the nasal spray category. The following three steps, taken immediately, might really help:

Encourage participation in the COVID-OUT clinical trial <NCT04510194>, and in the ACTIV-6 clinical trial once COVID-OUT is fully enrolled. COVID-OUT is run by a group out of University of Minnesota that includes the United Health Group, part of a network of Minnesota-based companies that includes the United Health Care insurance company.  This multi-drug t...

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