A new online assessment tool and virtual service has launched for people to see if they could receive and benefit from COVID-19 anti-viral treatments.
Two therapeutic treatments for COVID-19 are approved for people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 who are at high risk and who are not in hospital: Sotrovimab, which must be given through an infusion and requires a visit to a clinic or hospital; and Paxlovid, which is a course of anti-viral pills that can be taken at home.
These treatments are used to prevent severe illness in people who are at higher risk from COVID-19 and need to be started within five days of developing symptoms to be most effective. These treatments must be prescribed by a health-care provider who helps to determine the risk and benefit for individuals.
These treatments are available to:
- those who are clinically extremely vulnerable;
- those who are over 60, not fully vaccinated and have one or more chronic conditions; and
- those who are over 60, not fully vaccinated and are Indigenous.
As part of the new virtual service, British Columbians can find out if these treatments are right for them by following the four-step process available online, starting with the online self-assessment. A physician and pharmacist team will decide as part of the four-step process if treatment is safe and appropriate.
Paxlovid and Sotrovimab treatments are not suitable for everyone and must be prescribed by a health-care provider who can assess interactions with other conditions or medications. Patients may not be able to receive treatment if they are already taking some other medications or herbal supplements.
These treatments are not a substitution for vaccines and vaccination is strongly recommended as the most effective way to prevent serious illness.