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COVID-19 Antiviral Treatment

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Antiviral treatment is available in Eeyou Istchee for people with COVID-19 who are at higher risk of severe disease and hospitalization. These treatments don’t cure COVID-19, but they can help shorten it and make it less severe for people who are at risk.

What antiviral treatment is available?

Currently, a combination of nirmatrelvir and ritonavir (brand name: “Paxlovid”) is recommended for people who are not transplant recipients.  

  • This antiviral medication is used early on in a COVID-19 infection when someone who is at risk may still only have mild to moderate symptoms. This medicine is used before symptoms become too severe.  
  • This medication is taken as pills.
  • If taken in the first 5 days, it can help people at high risk of severe illness avoid hospitalization. 

 For transplant recipients, Evusheld (prophylactic antiviral treatment) is recommended.

Antiviral treatments are a great tool. But they don’t replace vaccination or other recommended precautions that help us stay protected from COVID-19. 

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Did you know?

Antiviral treatment should not be used for everyone, but may be recommended to certain people, depending on their health history. These treatments must be taken within the first 5 days of symptoms.  

Who can get antiviral treatment?

Most people who get COVID-19 will have mild to moderate illness and will recover at home. These people will not need an antiviral treatment like Paxlovid, or any other clinic treatment.

Answer this questionnaire to find out whether a COVID-19 antiviral treatment may be right for you if you have COVID-19 now, or get it in the future.  

But people with the conditions listed below are at higher risk of hospitalization because of underlying conditions, or because of their vaccination status.

Discuss antiviral treatment with your doctor or pharmacist, even if you are fully vaccinated, if you are any of the following: 

  • An organ transplant recipient   
  • Taking an immunosuppressant medication (see questionnaire for list)  
  • Receiving active treatment for cancer  
  • Pregnant  

Or if you have had 0 – 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine AND you are: 

  • 60 years and older  

OR

  • 18 years and older with a chronic medical condition (diabetes, obesity, hypertension, or chronic heart, lung, liver or kidney disease)

Who cannot get antiviral treatment?

  • Paxlovid is not available for children or youth under 18 years old.  
  • Paxlovid cannot be taken by people taking certain medications. 
  • Some medications may need to be temporarily stopped or adjusted while taking antiviral treatment. Your current medications will be reviewed before an antiviral treatment is prescribed to you.  

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