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Ontarians set to get faster access to COVID-19 antiviral drug, for free, through pharmacies

As of Monday (Dec 12th), pharmacists in Ontario will be able to prescribe the COVID-19 antiviral treatment, Paxlovid, on their own accord. 

That according to Health Minister Sylvia Jones who says the prescription will come at no cost to Ontarians.

To be eligible for Paxlovid, Ontarians need to have symptoms that are consistent with COVID and a positive lab-based PCR, rapid molecular, or rapid antigen test, which includes rapid tests done at home. In addition, officials say the prescribing needs to take place within five days of getting the symptoms, and anyone getting the treatment needs to be 60 years of age or older, 18 or older and is immunocompromised or 18 to 59 years old and at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes

Severe outcomes include having chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart or lung disease, or inadequate immunity against COVID-19, like not being up-to-date on vaccines.

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Paxlovid is a treatment used to reduce severe outcomes from COVID and works best if used within five days of the onset of symptoms. 

Eligible individuals should contact their local pharmacy to confirm if they prescribe Paxlovid and how to get a prescription for Paxlovid.

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