Ontario expanding access to COVID-19 antivirals

Twitter handle of Christine Elliot

Toronto/CMEDIA: The Ontario government is expanding beginning eligibility for COVID-19 antiviral treatments and PCR testing to more high-risk individuals to offer increased protection to the most vulnerable and ensure hospital capacity remains stable.

Effective immediately, the following higher-risk groups are eligible to be tested and assessed for antiviral treatments, such as Paxlovid, in Ontario:

  • Individuals aged 18 and over who are immunocompromised (have an immune system that is weakened by a health condition or medications);
  • Individuals aged 70 and over;
  • Individuals aged 60 and over with fewer than three vaccine doses; and
  • Individuals aged 18 and over with fewer than three vaccine doses and at least one risk condition (e.g., a chronic medical condition)

Anyone who is eligible for an assessment is now also eligible for a PCR test at any testing centre in Ontario.

Expanding dispensing locations to include participating pharmacies across the province of Ontario is making it easier beginning from April 12 for eligible individuals with a prescription to access antivirals.

A list of pharmacies that would be regularly updated where Paxlovid is available at Ontario.ca/antivirals as of Wednesday, April 13 at 8:00 a.m.

In most cases, treatment for antivirals must be started within five days of symptoms.

Vulnerable individuals or higher-risk groups who have COVID-19 symptoms should immediately seek testing and care, by contacting their health care provider or visiting a clinical assessment centre.

Individuals can contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 for more information about where to find a clinical assessment center or to determine if they are at higher risk.

“Thanks to the millions of Ontarians who were vaccinated, we have been able to cautiously and safely reopen our province. By expanding access to antivirals and PCR testing, in addition to recently expanding eligibility for fourth doses, we are using every tool available to us to ensure Ontarians have the best protection available while we adapt to managing and living with COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

#Antivirals, #Ontario