MAYVILLE, N.Y.: - As announced through the New York State Department of Health’s ‘Test Soon, Treat Early’ initiative, oral antiviral treatments are now available by prescription and are a powerful tool to prevent severe COVID-19 disease and death in infected persons. Treatments for COVID-19 are most effective when given soon after symptom onset so it is very important for persons experiencing symptoms to test early. Because oral antivirals are taken by mouth and do not require an IV or injection, they are convenient and easy to administer. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should test as early as possible, and if the test is positive, eligible individuals should discuss treatment options with their health care provider.
“Oral treatment options for COVID-19 are a game changer in the fight against this virus,” stated Christine Schuyler, Public Health Director. “We are excited that there is finally widespread availability of these prescription medications that have the potential to save lives, especially for high-risk, vulnerable, or unvaccinated community members as we continue to battle COVID-19 infections.”
Currently, two oral antiviral medications, Paxlovid and Lagevrio (molnupiravir), have Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for treatment of COVID-19. It is recommended that healthcare providers treating people who are confirmed COVID-positive and have mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms, strongly consider prescribing an oral antiviral.
These therapies require a prescription by a licensed and authorized provider. Contact your healthcare provider if you test positive for COVID-19 and meet the following eligibility requirements:
• Age 12 years or older weighing at least 40 kg (88 pounds) for Paxlovid, or 18 years or older for Lagevrio (molnupiravir);
• Test positive for SARS-CoV-2 on a nucleic acid amplification test or antigen test; results from an FDA-authorized home-test kit should be validated through video or photo but, if not possible, patient attestation is acceptable;
• Have mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms
• Patient must not be hospitalized due to severe or critical COVID-19; and
• Able to start treatment within 5 days of symptom onset.
Both Paxlovid and Lagevrio (molnupiravir) are currently available by prescription at pharmacies participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, in nursing home pharmacies, and retail pharmacies. Retail pharmacies currently reporting availability throughout Chautauqua County include CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreen’s, and Wal-Mart. Specific locations can be found using the COVID-19 Therapeutics Locator (https://covid-19-therapeutics-locator-dhhs.hub.arcgis.com/).
Additional questions about COVID-19 treatment options or availability can be sent to COVID19Therapeutics@health.ny.gov.