Africa’s top public health body said it was in talks with Pfizer about securing supplies of its antiviral Covid-19 pills for the continent, the latest to join the race for a drug seen as a potential game-changer in fighting the virus. The Paxlovid medication was nearly 90% effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths, and data suggested it retains its effectiveness against the Omicron variant, Pfizer has said. While vaccines have been governments’ main weapon against Covid-19, there are hopes Merck and Pfizer’s experimental pills – taken at home rather than in a hospital or medical centers – could be key in reducing the chances of dying or hospitalization for those most at risk of severe illness. Here’s John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.