ATLANTA, Ga. (WRBL) – The first shipment of antiviral COVID-19 pills has arrived in Georgia and is being allocated to select pharmacies across the state, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
State health officials say the federal government is limiting the initial supply of Molnupiravir and Paxlovid, but distribution is expected to increase in the coming weeks.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services made initial allocations through a partnership with Walmart, Walgreens, and Good Neighbor Pharmacy Group. A list of individual pharmacies currently carrying the oral treatments can be found at https://dph.georgia.gov/dph-covid-19-guidance.
The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for Merck’s Molnupiravir and Pfizer’s Paxlovid pills in late December. The FDA currently recommends the treatments for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are at risk for developing severe illness. Health officials say both treatments should be administered within five days of symptom onset. Both require a prescription.
Federal and state health officials say antiviral pills should not be used as a preventative treatment and are not a substitute for getting vaccinated.
Georgians aged 5 and older are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Georgians over 16 years old are eligible for booster doses, six months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series or two months after their first Johnson & Johnson vaccine. A list of COVID-19 vaccination locations is available at https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine.