Eligible people with a positive test result from an ECDOH test site may receive a prescription for Paxlovid, a coronavirus treatment
Individuals who receive a positive coronavirus test result through Erie County Department of Health’s COVID-19 testing services will be offered a prescription for Paxlovid, if they are eligible.
Paxlovid is an antiviral prescription medication available under an U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization. Paxlovid can be used to treat mild-to-moderate coronavirus disease 2019 in adults and pediatric patients ages 12 years and older who have a positive test result, and who are at high risk for progression to severe illness. Clinical trials for this medicine involving high-risk patients showed an 88% reduction in the risk for hospitalization and death among people taking Paxlovid to treat COVID-19 compared to those taking a placebo.
Eligible patients will be contacted within one business day for screening, and a prescription will be sent directly to a participating pharmacy of the patient’s choice if indicated. If a person has a positive test result after noon on Friday or on Saturday, they will be contacted on the following Monday.
“Paxlovid is indicated for use as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19, and within five days of symptom onset,” Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein said. “We have a process in place to screen people who tested COVID-19 positive at our sites to see if they meet the eligibility criteria to take this medication, and to send that prescription to their chosen pharmacy that dispenses Paxlovid.”
She further explained, “Vaccination continues to be the primary prevention strategy to protect people from COVID-19 infection and illness. But as a secondary public health measure, we are glad that our department can expand access to this treatment option, which can reduce the risk of moderate or severe illness and hospitalization.”
ECDOH stated, “Any costs or co-pays associated with filling these prescriptions are the responsibility of the patient. However, most public and private health insurance plans cover the costs, in full or in part, for appropriately dispensed Paxlovid prescriptions. Costs for people who are uninsured may be covered by New York state.
“People with a positive COVID-19 test result from another lab or health care facility, or from an at-home self-collected test, should consult with their doctor to discuss treatment options. This prescription option is not available for students and school staff who receive a positive COVID-19 test result from in-school testing programs. Additional “test to treat” locations are available at www.covid.gov, which has a searchable map.”
Current ECDOH coronavirus testing locations are set up at the ECDOH Health Clinics at 608 William St., Buffalo; the Cheektowaga Senior Center; and the Erie County Emergency and Training Operations Center. Each location offers free testing: a PCR test, with results in about one to three business days; or a rapid test, with results in about 15 minutes. Appointments are suggested, but walk-ins are welcome. Call 716-858-2929 for more information.
Hours of operation:
√ 608 William St., Buffalo: weekdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (This site will not be open on Friday, April 15 – Good Friday)
√ Cheektowaga Senior Center, 3349 Broadway: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
√ Erie County Emergency and Training Operations Center, 3359 Broadway: Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon. (This site will not be open on Friday, April 15 – Good Friday or Saturday, April 16)
√ Erie County Department of Health: www.erie.gov/health
√ NYSDOH booster doses: https://www.ny.gov/boosters
√ U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Authorizes First Oral Antiviral for Treatment of COVID-19: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-authorizes-first-oral-antiviral-treatment-covid-19
√ U.S. FDA, Paxlovid fact sheet for patients, parents and caregivers: https://www.fda.gov/media/155051/download