VDH outlines COVID-19 treatments post-diagnosis

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 5:31 PM EST
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Oral antiviral medications being used to treat COVID-19 are becoming more available, but they’re still being distributed.

Jordi Shelton, Communications Specialist for the Central Shenandoah Health District, said providers for COVID-19 treatments like monoclonal antibodies and oral pills can be found on the Department of Health’s website.

“We’re focused on providing these therapeutics equitably across the commonwealth and just speak with your health care provider to determine what your next best steps are should you receive a COVID-19 diagnosis,” Shelton said.

She said the website is still being updated as more options become available.

The medications should be taken shortly after a positive COVID-19 test. The sooner they’re taken, the better, local health officials say. Shelton said each option requires a prescription from a healthcare provider.

“It’s exciting that this research exists and these treatments have come forward, and it’s really going to be very helpful for folks to prevent them from developing serious illness, especially if the treatment is administered as soon as possible,” Shelton said.

Shelton said the goal is to make these options accessible to everyone in the commonwealth.

“We’re focused on providing these therapeutics equitably across the commonwealth and just speak with your health care provider to determine what your next best steps are should you receive a COVID-19 diagnosis,” Shelton said.

Because a prescription is required, none of these options - antibody treatments or oral medications - are available over-the-counter. You should talk to your healthcare provider before pursuing any option.

In November, it was announced the federal government would pay for 10 million courses one oral medication. With that, the medication would be free, but patients may incur a bill by visiting a doctor to get the prescription.

Treatment options for people with mild to moderate COVID-19 are summarized below:

-Monoclonal antibodies:

- Sotrovimab: given by infusion in vein

- Bamlanivimab with Etesevimab (Bam/Ete): given by infusion in vein

- REGEN-COV given by infusion in vein or by four injections under the skin

-Monoclonal antibodies may also be used in individuals who have a weak immune system or cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccine:

- EVUSHELD - given by one injection into each buttock muscle

-Oral COVID-19 treatments:

- Molnupiravir (18+): Treatment for mild-to-moderate COVID-19 illness in adults not pregnant or breastfeeding

- Paxlovid (ages 12+ and weighing at least 88 pounds): Treatment for mild-to-moderate COVID-19 illness in adults and pediatric patients

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