Though cases are down dramatically from the January spike driven by the Omicron variant, COVID-19 remains with us. Vaccines and boosters continue to offer robust protection against severe outcomes, and I want to call attention once again to the availability of antiviral treatments.
Initially reserved for the most vulnerable because of limited supplies, the antiviral pill Paxlovid is now widely available for those who test positive for COVID-19.
Antivirals interfere with the way viruses replicate and reproduce. Viruses can’t make more versions of themselves; they do that by entering our cells. Antivirals help to prevent this from happening.
We have a great deal of information at azhealth.gov/antivirals, along with a map showing where you can receive antiviral and monoclonal antibody treatments. These include sites that through the national Test-to-Treat Initiative can prescribe antiviral pills on the spot.
Our federal partners are planning to increase both the promotion of antivirals to doctors and the number of pharmacies carrying them. There’s a role for patients as well. If you get a breakthrough case of COVID-19 or get COVID-19 and aren’t vaccinated, consult your doctor about whether an antiviral treatment can help you.
The availability of therapeutic drugs complements the availability of safe, highly effective vaccines and booster doses. Make sure you are prepared by making sure you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccination and your knowledge that antivirals are available if you need them.