Drugmaker Merck has asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its new COVID-19 treatment in the form of a pill as Dr. Anthony Fauci gives trick or treating the green light as long as you're vaccinated.
There could soon be a pill on the market that effectively treats COVID-19.
Merck requested FDA authorization Monday for its COVID pill, claiming the data shows it reduces the risk of hospitalization or death by 50% if it's taken soon after the onset of symptoms.
"Of importance is that in the placebo group there were eight deaths and in the treatment group there were no deaths," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "That's also very important and very good news."
Fauci maintains vaccination is the best defense against the virus, pointing to falling infections and hospitalizations as proof.
"It's good news that we're starting to see a turning around of the curve and coming down," he said. "That is not an excuse to walk away from the issue of needing to get vaccinated."
Fauci predicts numbers will continue to fall through the colder months and with the layer of protection coming from vaccinated parents, he says trick-or-treating outdoors should be safe this year.
Meanwhile, in the battle against vaccine mandates, the man in charge of the country's largest sheriff's department in California says he's not enforcing vaccine requirements for his employees.
"I'm not forcing anyone," said Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. "The issue has become so politicized, there are entire groups of employees that are willing to be fired or laid off rather than getting vaccinated.
With the Pentagon's Nov. 28 mandate deadline approaching, the military's overall vaccination rate is climbing. However, statistics show, that about a third of the Marine Corps and more than 60,000 members of the Air Force have yet to get the shot.