Paxlovid to be made available to Sask. residents Wednesday

Paxlovid, a Health Canada-approved pill that treats mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19, will be available to eligible Saskatchewan residents tomorrow (Wed).
The pill is recommended for people over age 18 who:
  • are symptomatic and within five days of developing symptoms;
  • test positive (PCR or rapid test) for mild or moderate COVID-19;
  • do not have any medical conditions that would make treatment inappropriate; and meet one of the following criteria:
  • are immunocompromised, regardless of vaccine status;
  • are 55 and older, and not fully vaccinated; or
  • have a medical condition that puts them at high risk and are not fully vaccinated.
Residents who believe they meet the criteria must call HealthLine 811 for further assessment.
Health officials note paxlovid is intended to be taken in tablet form twice a day, for 5 days, and has to be used within 5 days of developing symptoms. Paxlovid also stops the virus from multiplying in the body, to help people with lower immunity overcome the infection and prevent progression to hospitalization.
 In a news release, Saskatchewan has received a limited quantity (900 courses) from the federal supply but further supplies are expected. The current supply has been distributed to select community pharmacies across the province to be accessible to eligible residents, once they’ve received a referral. This includes working with Indigenous Services Canada to ensure access for First Nations and Métis communities.
Health officials also note this treatment is not a substitute for getting a COVID-19 vaccination. “While Saskatchewan supports new treatments for those most at risk for severe COVID-19 illnesses, vaccination remains the best tool available to prevent hospitalizations and death due to COVID-19.  Immunization does not offer absolute protection against COVID-19 but improves your body’s defense against the virus.  It is safe and effective.”

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