From Wednesday January 26th, eligible Saskatchewanians will be able to get access to Paxlovid, the first Health Canada-approved oral antiviral (pill) to treat COVID-19.
The medication is for treatment of symptomatic COVID-19 after a positive test, not for prevention of COVID-19 infection. It is taken in tablet form twice a day for five days. It stops the virus from multiplying in the body, to help people with lower immunity to COVID-19 overcome the infection and prevent progression to hospitalization.
Paxlovid is only recommended for adults over 18 who:
- are symptomatic and within five days of developing symptoms;
- test positive (PCR or rapid test) for mild or moderate COVID-19;
- do not have any medical conditions that would make treatment inappropriate; and meet one of the following criteria:
- are immunocompromised, regardless of vaccine status;
- are 55 and older, and not fully vaccinated; or
- have a medical condition that puts them at high risk and are not fully vaccinated.
Health officials say Paxlovid is only being provided to eligible patients through referral by calling HealthLine 811. They add do not visit your family physician or pharmacy to request this medication.