Over 5.3 million lives were lost worldwide to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in this number, 798, 000 were Americans, the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering real-time record show, ABC News reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that 60.9 percent of the United States population have received full COVID-19 vaccine doses.

In an interview with ABC News, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said that the pharmaceutical company’s COVID-19 treatment can be granted with emergency use authorization in the country by the end of this year or early 2022, pending the regulatory timeline of the Food and Drug Administration.

On Tuesday, Pfizer announced that it has presented promising new data to the FDA. They backed the effectiveness of their oral antiviral pill, Paxlovid, against the omicron variant with lab experiments.

People register for COVID-19 vaccination at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in the Soweto township of Johannesburg, South Africa, on Dec. 13, 2021.

The pharmaceutical company, in its updated clinical trial record, found that the medicine cuts down by 89 percent the hospitalization risk when taken three days after being infected with the virus. When taken five days among unvaccinated, high-risk patients, the risk goes down by 88 percent.

“It is a game changer,” Bourla told ABC News. “But at the same time, I want to emphasize that no one should use the existence of the pill as an excuse to avoid vaccination.”

The pill, he said, could save several lives.

“We did some calculations how many deaths or hospitalizations can be avoided based on the current U.S. mortality rates and the current U.S. hospitalization rates,” Bourla said. “On the back-of-the-envelope calculation, we estimate that 100,000 people if they take the pill, we will avoid 6,000 hospitalizations and 1,200 deaths approximately.”