Manitoba Daily

In Manitoba, a latest oral COVID-19 antiviral care is now available

In Manitoba, a new COVID-19 antiviral treatment is now accessible

Key takeaways:

  • The provincial government has received a shipment of 1,100 doses of Pfizer’s antiviral Paxlovid, which could be given to COVID-19 patients at high risk of severe illness.
  • The treatment, according to the province, does not exempt people from the need for isolation and is not a substitute for vaccination.

Manitoba health officials announced Monday that a new COVID-19 oral treatment is now available.

Last week, the provincial government announced that it had received a shipment of 1,100 doses of Pfizer’s antiviral Paxlovid, which could be given to COVID-19 patients at elevated risk of severe illness.

The treatment, which must be administered within five days of the onset of symptoms, could relieve strain on Manitoba’s healthcare system as the count of COVID-19 hospitalizations continues to rise.

On Monday, the province declared that certain people who have got two doses of the COVID vaccine, the second of which was given more than 4 months ago, would be eligible for the treatment.

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The province’s website has a complete list of eligibility requirements.

Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, said at a news conference last Wednesday that someone who tests positive on a self-administered rapid test could be referred for an assessment and a rapid follow-up test by a healthcare provider verify.

According to Roussin, a process for people to refer themself for the new treatment, whether it’s PCR or a rapid test, will be accessible online soon.

This oral antiviral treatment, such as the monoclonal antibody treatment, is intended to be offered to confirmed COVID-19 patients with mild – to – moderate symptoms in the initial stages of the disease, reducing the strain on the health system from critically unwell patients.

As per a patient fact sheet on the provincial govt’s website, paxlovid restricts the virus that causes COVID-19 from replicating itself, which prevents severe illness.

In Manitoba, a new COVID-19 antiviral treatment is now accessible
In Manitoba, a new COVID-19 antiviral treatment is now accessible. Image from CBC News

Paxlovid combines nirmatrelvir, a fresh antiretroviral drug developed by Pfizer, with ritonavir, a low-dose HIV drug that assists nirmatrelvir stay active in the body longer.

The remedy entails taking 2 pills twice a day for five days, 2 of nirmatrelvir and one of ritonavir, at home.

According to the province, the treatment doesn’t exempt people from isolation necessities and is not a substitute for vaccination.

Paxlovid reduced the risk of hospitalization or death in non-hospitalized, high-risk adults with COVID-19 by 89 % compared to a placebo in non-hospitalized, high-risk grown-ups with COVID-19, according to Pfizer.

According to the research, the treatment is likely to be working against the Omicron variant, which is now the most common among fresh cases in Manitoba.

This is the first COVID-19 treatment taken at home in pill form. Monoclonal antibodies and remdesivir, for example, are currently approved for use in Canada but must be administered intravenously in a healthcare setting.

Source: CBC News

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