Home Refractory COVID Antiviral Drugs: NYC Offers Same-Day Delivery of Pills as Omicron Wave Eases

COVID Antiviral Drugs: NYC Offers Same-Day Delivery of Pills as Omicron Wave Eases

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STATEN ISLAND, NY — Mayor Eric Adams said Sunday New York City will begin offering same-day home delivery of antiviral pills to help fight COVID-19.

The pills would be prioritized for city dwellers who have tested positive and are at higher risk of serious consequences from the disease, said Adams, who noted new cases continued to fall after record-breaking positive results were posted about a month ago.

“We’re not resting — we’re bringing more help right to the doorsteps of New Yorkers,” Adams said. “We are offering free home delivery to high-risk New Yorkers #COVID-19 Antiviral pills to prevent serious illnesses and keep people out of the hospital.”

Paxlovid, a pill developed by Pfizer, and Merck’s molnupiravir — both approved by the Food and Drug Administration — are the two treatments made available by the city.

The former is the “preferred oral antiviral,” according to the city’s website, while the latter is intended for use in adults for whom alternative FDA-approved COVID-19 treatment options are not accessible or clinically appropriate because some poses safety risks, especially for pregnant women.

None of the treatments, the city said, should be used for more than five consecutive days. The pills are most effective when given as soon as symptoms begin.

To check eligibility for the pills, residents can call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319). New York City has partnered with Alto Pharmacy, a telehealth pharmacy, to distribute the drugs.

Supplies for the pills are expected to be limited, the city’s health department said.

Adams said the pills are not a substitute for a vaccination and urged residents to get their shots if they haven’t already.

“We know how to win this fight: vaccines, boosters and masks,” he said.

Three-fourths of New York City residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, city health department Data shows, but the number of booster doses administered in the five counties continues to fall short of officials’ hopes.