January 1, 2022–7:50 p.m.
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is announcing the allocation of Merck and Pfizer oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19 to select retail pharmacies in Georgia. Initial supply of Molnupiravir and Paxlovid™from the federal government is very limited. DPH anticipates additional allocations in the coming weeks as production increases.
Per guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), initial allocations were made to federal pharmacy partners. DPH has partnered with Walmart, Walgreens, and Good Neighbor Pharmacy Group (a group of small independent pharmacies) to ensure coverage across the state. Pharmacies currently allocated treatments can be found on the DPH website at https://dph.georgia.gov/dph-covid-19-guidance.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization for molnupirvar by Merck and an emergency use authorization for Paxlovid™ by Pfizer as oral antiviral treatments of COVID-19. Early studies indicate these treatments may reduce severe outcomes from COVID-19 including hospitalization or death. The antivirals are recommended for treatment of individuals who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 or have underlying medical conditions. Both drugs require a prescription and should be initiated as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of symptom onset.
While antivirals may help treat COVID-19, vaccination is the best prevention against COVID infection. Georgians aged 5 and older are eligible for vaccination. Georgians 16 and older are eligible for boosters six months after completing their primary vaccine series of either Moderna or Pfizer (only Pfizer is authorized for booster doses in 16- and 17- year-olds) and two months after their J&J vaccine. To find a COVID vaccination location, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine.
Basic prevention measures should also be followed to help prevent further spread of COVID and mitigate outbreaks of infection, especially in public settings: wear a mask, physically distance, and wash your hands frequently with soap and water.