In the battle against covid-19, injected vaccines have been a game-changer in many countries. But while existing vaccines have stemmed a tide of cases in many high-income countries, massive disparities in supply have left many other countries without. Even when doses have arrived in these nations, there have been issues with distributing them before they reach their expiration date.

On Thursday, a different front opened up in the battle against covid-19 — one that was notable for revolving around pills, rather than jabs.

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