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Ivermectin mass treatment in perspective

Interview and article by Christine Clark.

Ivermectin is a good treatment to use interim to and complementary to immunisations, according to Dr David Scheim, one of the authors of a study of mass treatment for covid-19 with ivermectin in Peru.

Between the end of July 2020 and the end of November 2020 excess deaths had fallen 11-fold, practically back to the pre-pandemic level  in Peru. Then a new President came into office and as a result of policy changes ivermectin mass treatment was discontinued.    “From November 30th 2020 to January 31st 2021 as we tracked deaths they went back up 12-fold. So we hope that with this analysis things are going to reverse and good science and popular demand for healing covid will prevail”, says Dr Scheim.

The results of the analysis reflected the findings of the original clinical trials. “What we see is an entire national population – we are replicating the same reduction in mortality that we see in the clinical studies”, he says.

Peru is a nation of 33 million people that covers an area comparable to the area from Denmark to Italy and Greece in Europe or from Florida to Minnesota and New York in the US. Its 25 states also span a range of different terrains including jungle, coastal, and mountainous regions. “So you have a real world experiment that is in line with the clinical trials but takes them a step further on a real-world, national population”, explains Dr Scheim.

Implications

The implications of the findings of this analysis are that anyone who develops   symptoms of covid-19 should be treated with ivermectin. If patients are followed at a population level a 75% reduction in excess deaths can be expected by 30 days. Dr Scheim emphasises that ivermectin is widely available and it is inexpensive and safe. He adds, “There is no downside – there is a 95-99% chance that any country that does this is going to replicate the results both of Peru and of the clinical trials conducted to date”.

Vaccination

Ivermectin is an important treatment to use interim to and complementary to vaccinations. It will be months before everyone is vaccinated and in the meantime mortality could be substantially reduced. Furthermore, ivermectin could be made available to people who opt not to be immunised.  In addition, “there are certainly serious issues about whether the vaccines will cover emerging mutants whereas ivermectin will almost definitely cover all the mutants so – in summary – ivermectin is a good treatment to use interim to and complementary to immunisations”, says Dr Scheim.

David E. Scheim received a doctorate in Mathematics from MIT followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in mathematical biology. He served as a commissioned officer in the US Public Health Service and developed clinical trial for the National Eye Institutes’ eyeGENE medical-genetics initiative and has worked since as an independent researcher and consultant.

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