ADPH: Limited supply of COVID-19 antiviral pills expected in Alabama ‘within two weeks’

Alabama

This image provided by Pfizer in October 2021 shows the company’s COVID-19 Paxlovid pills. U.S. health regulators on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021 authorized the first pill against COVID-19, a Pfizer drug that Americans will be able to take at home to head off the worst effects of the virus. (Pfizer via AP)

(WHNT) — A newly-approved COVID-19 antiviral pill will make its way to Alabama within the next two weeks, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

More News from WRBL

The pill, given emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this week, is an oral antiviral drug from Pfizer called Paxlovid.

The drug comes in tablet form and the initial supply, limited to 780 patient courses, will only be available by prescription for the first week of January. The state will use pharmacies to dispense Paxlovid, but other providers will be added later.

“As new variants continue to emerge, we are excited that the oral tablet Paxlovid will soon be available to help combat COVID-19 in non-hospitalized patients,” said State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris. “While we are very pleased Paxlovid will be a treatment option, it is not a substitute for vaccinations which remain the best way for most people to protect themselves against severe illness and death due to COVID-19. I continue to urge all Alabamians to be vaccinated and receive a booster dose when eligible.”

ADPH says current data shows Paxlovid is 88% effective in reducing hospitalization or death from COVID-19.

Paxlovid is authorized for mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adult and pediatric patients, and should be taken as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms, says ADPH. It is administered as three tablets taken twice daily for five days.

In order to receive a prescription for the drug, patients must show a positive COVID-19 test, be at high risk of developing severe illness, and be 12 years older and weigh at least 88 pounds.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CORONAVIRUS Tweet Feed

Recent Columbus Forecast Updates

More 7 Day Forecast

Don't Miss