COVID-19 Oral Antiviral Treatments Available At Select Retail Pharmacies

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Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) announces the allocation of Merck and Pfizer oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19 to certain retail pharmacies in Georgia. The federal government’s initial supply of Molnupiravir and Paxlovid ™ is severely limited. DPH anticipates additional allocations in the coming weeks as production increases.

Under guidelines from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), initial allocations were made to federal pharmaceutical partners. DPH has partnered with Walmart, Walgreens and Good Neighbor Pharmacy Group (a group of small independent pharmacies) to provide statewide coverage. Pharmacies currently assigned to treatment can be found on the DPH website at https://dph.georgia.gov/dph-covid-19-guidance.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an emergency use authorization for Molnupiravir by Merck and an emergency use authorization for Paxlovid ™ by Pfizer as oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19. Early studies indicate that these treatments can reduce the serious consequences of COVID-19, including hospitalization or death. Antivirals are recommended for the treatment of people at high risk for severe COVID-19 or with underlying health problems. Both drugs require a prescription and should be started as soon as possible after a diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of onset of symptoms.

Although antivirals can help treat COVID-19, vaccination is the best prevention against COVID infection. Georgians aged 5 and over are eligible for vaccination. Georgians 16 and over are eligible for booster shots six months after completing their primary Moderna or Pfizer vaccine series (only Pfizer is allowed for booster doses in 16 and 17 year olds) and two months after their J&J vaccine . For Coastal Health District COVID vaccination opportunities, visit chdcovidvax.org.

Basic preventive measures should also be followed to help prevent the spread of COVID and mitigate outbreaks of infection, especially in public places: wear a mask, move away physically, and wash your hands frequently at soap and water.

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