Answers to questions about COVID-19 treatments

Dr. Andrea Lara, MD, MPH, Oregon Health Authority health advisor, answered today’s questions. We’ll continue to answer your questions on COVID-19 topics in upcoming newsletters. 

Q: Why does my internist say she can’t give me a prescription for Paxlovid for travel?
A:
“The available COVID-19 treatments are for treating active infections, not for preventing them. Paxlovid is not a preventative medication you can take with you when you travel. You must be infected by the COVID-19 virus and have a positive COVID-19 test to receive the medication.”

Q: President Biden announced the Test-to-Treat program in his State of the Union message. Is it set up and working? What is the criteria for being prescribed Paxlovid or Molnupirvir?
A:
“The Test-to-Treat (T2T) program is up and working. You can find T2T locations on the federal locator site. Just enter your zip code and it will show you participating locations. To make an appointment at any of the locations, call the number listed on the site. To receive a COVID-19 oral antiviral (Paxlovid or Molnupiravir), you have to test positive for COVID-19 and be at risk of developing severe COVID-19 illness. Certain medical conditions or your age could qualify you to receive treatment. At the T2T location, you will be evaluated by a health care provider. See a list of medical conditions here that might qualify you to receive treatment.”

*For people who do not have insurance, there may be a fee associated with the T2T service.

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