Maryland Department of Health now offering COVID-19 antiviral pills

Maryland

MARYLAND (WDVM) — The Maryland Department of Health has announced they will now be offering two FDA-authorized COVID-19 pills.

Starting Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, MDH will be distributing the two newly authorized antiviral oral pills: Paxlovid and Molnupiravir to congregate-care facilities, local health clinics, and other health care providers across the state.

These prescription pill regimens are the first oral antiviral treatments given emergency use authorization or EUA by the FDA for adults who test positive for COVID-19 and who have at least one risk factor of serious illness from the virus.

The state will initially be allocated around 4500 treatments which already began arriving at pharmacies yesterday. The allocation will come over the course of two weeks and MDH stated the federal government expects larger allocations of doses nationwide in January 2022 and in the months after.

In a press release the Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services, Dr. Jinlene Chan stressed the importance of testing for the virus as the first line of defense and treatment.

“It is important that people at risk of serious illness get tested or do an at-home test at the first sign of symptoms, whether they are vaccinated or not, so that they can get the best treatment available,” Dr. Chan said. “These treatments need to be started within days of the onset of symptoms to be effective.”

The COVID-19 antiviral pills are only available by prescription from a physician and are designed to help adults who have tested positive for covid and who have at least one risk factor of serious illness from the virus.

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