(WFRV) – Wisconsin has received its first allocation of the oral antiviral COVID-19 treatments (commonly known as the COVID pills), and plan to distribute them to pharmacies by the end of the week.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced that the state has received its first allocation of oral antiviral COVID-19 treatments molnupiravir and Paxlovid. These are reportedly used to treat patients that are diagnosed with mild to moderate COVID-19.
Officials say that the initial supply from the federal government is ‘extremely limited’. The DHS also wanted to remind people that these pills are not a substitute for getting vaccinated or wearing a mask.
“While these new antiviral pills may help treat COVID-19, it’s important to remember these drugs are not a substitution for protecting yourself by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public places,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued emergency use authorization for the two pills to be taken at home. Paxlovid is from Pfizer and molnupiravir is from Merck. The two pills reportedly must be taken within five days of when a person’s symptoms begin.
Paxlovid can be used in people over the age of 12 who do not take certain medications and molnupiravir can be taken by adults over 18 who are not pregnant or breastfeeding.
Since these medications are most effective early in the course of the virus, it is urgent that people at risk for severe COVID-19 get tested at the first sign of illness and seek medical care so their provider can determine if they should receive these pills,” said Dr. Jonathan Meiman, a Chief Medical Officer at DHS.
The DHS will distribute the pills to select pharmacies by Jan. 7.
More information about the DHS’s plan to distribute the pills can be found on their website.