Newly approved prescription pills help some adults fight COVID-19

COVID-19 omicron
Posted at 11:09 AM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 11:09:43-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Some Maryland adults infected with COVID-19 can now be prescribed pills to help them fend off the virus.

The Maryland Department of Health said Friday that it's working with local health clinics, physicians, and pharmacies to distribute Paxlovid and Molnupiravir.

They are the first oral COVID-19 treatments to receive Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA.

Both are prescribed in a five-day pill regimen, for positive adults who have at least one existing risk factor.

Maryland will receive only 4,500 courses over the next two weeks from the federal government, after which time it's expected more will be made available. Some pharmacies in the state received their first allotment on Thursday.

“These two oral COVID-19 treatments are new tools to help us fight this disease and potentially save lives,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. "If any Marylander tests positive for COVID-19, they should speak right away with their health care provider to see if Paxlovid, or Molnupiravir are right for them.”

The FDA also recently issued Emergency Use Authorization for AstraZeneca's Evusheld, the first preventive (prophylaxis) treatment for moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals who do not have COVID-19.