Supply of COVID-19 treatment pills now available to Tennesseans
According to early studies, both treatments saw success in treating severe outcomes of the virus.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Merck and Pfizer oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19 were shipped to the state of Tennessee Thursday, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.
The Food and Drug Administration issued the emergency use authorizations for molnupirvar by Merck and an emergency use authorization for Paxlovid by Pfizer as oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19.
According to early studies, both treatments saw success in treating severe outcomes of the virus. The treatments are also recommended for individuals at high risk for severe symptoms or those with underlying medical conditions.
- Approved for those 18 years and older
- Recommended to start treatment as soon as possible after testing positive, within five days of symptoms
- 40 pills over a 5-day period
- Not recommended for use while pregnant or breastfeeding
- Approved for those 12 years or older
- Recommended to start treatment as soon as possible after testing positive, within three days of symptoms
- 30 pills over a 5-day period
- Approved to be used while pregnant or breastfeeding
Experts encourage the public to consult with their physicians about risk factors before taking treatments. Both drugs require a prescription.
The drugs will be distributed to Walmart pharmacies across the state. This treatment is free. Initial supply in the state is limited as the first allocation from the federal government was 5,000 courses of molnupiravir and 1,000 courses of Paxlovid.
“While antivirals may help treat COVID-19, vaccination is the best approach to prevent infection. Tennesseans age five and above are encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” the TDOH said.
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