Veklury: the First Approved Vaccine for Covid 19


During this pandemic, there has yet to be a verified vaccine for the coronavirus, until October 22nd, when Veklury was officially approved by the FDA (Food And Drug Administration). 

After 268 days of quarantine, there has been about 52 million, known, coronavirus cases with an estimated 1.28 million death count. Amongst these increasing numbers, Gilead Sciences, a biotechnology company, had been working on an antiviral, Veklury. In the form of liquid solution and lyophilized powder, 100mg of this drug are injected through a vein, once a day, for about 5 to 10 days, depending on how severe the case is. On the first day of dosage, 200 mg are given an IV, but any day after that, is given 100mg. It is only permitted for patients 12 years of age or older and weighing at least 40 kg.

In this drug is an ingredient called remdesivir, which has shown results of preventing the spread and replication of coronavirus. According to Covid-19 Treatment Guidelines, “Remdesivir is an intravenous nucleotide prodrug of an adenosine analog. Remdesivir binds to the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, inhibiting viral replication through premature termination of RNA transcription. It has demonstrated in vitro activity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.”

Although the main active ingredient, Veklury also includes betadex sulfobutyl ether sodium, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, and water for injections. Betadex sulfobutyl ether sodium is an cyclodextrin emulsifier, which helps the fluid desimmate throughout the body. Hydrochloric acid is a liquid used to help properly digest food in the stomach. Sodium hydroxide is a substance used to prevent blood clots. 

After a dosage, common side effects may include nausea, headache, an increase in transaminases (liver enzymes), and rashes. states, “Before use, store unopened Veklury concentrated solution in a refrigerator until the day it is needed. Before diluting it, allow the concentrated solution to come up to room temperature. Once diluted, Veklury should be used immediately. If necessary, bags of diluted solution can be stored for up to 4 hours below 25°C, or for up to 24 hours in a refrigerator. Do not allow more than 24 hours between dilution and administration.”

Veklury is at a set price of between $2,340 and $3,120 for a treatment course. There has been, so far, 500,000 treatment courses bought by the U.S. government, still being distributed. As of now, Veklury is able to be bought only from the drug’s distributor.