As L.A. County continues to slow community transmission of COVID-19, and access to effective therapeutics improves, equitable distribution of COVID-19 treatments is a critical issue. As supply of these medicines increases, we need to be sure that information and access about therapeutics is available across the county, particularly in those communities with residents at elevated risk of poor outcomes should they become infected with COVID.
Several free treatment options are available and can be used to prevent severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. Treatments are available for those who are at increased risk of severe disease, test positive for COVID-19, and have any symptoms, even mild ones (such as runny nose or cough). Five therapeutic options have been authorized by the FDA for the treatment of COVID-19 in individuals ages 12 and over who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness:
Oral Therapeutics (Pills)
– Paxlovid (must be taken within 5 days of first COVID-19 symptom)
– Molnupiravir (must be taken within 5 days of first COVID-19 symptom) **Oral therapeutic treatments require a prescription from a healthcare provider.
Monoclonal Antibody Intravenous (IV) and Antiviral Infusions
– Sotrovimab (must be administered within 10 days of first COVID-19 symptom)
– Remdesivir (must be given within 7 days of first COVID-19 symptom)
– Evusheld available for people who can’t get a COVID-19 vaccine for medical reasons, or who may not respond well to a vaccine because they have a weak immune system due to a medical condition or treatment. (must be administered before a person is exposed to COVID-19 to prevent them from getting infected)
For the week of February 25, L.A. County received 3,880 doses of Paxlovid, Pfizer’s oral treatment, that was distributed to providers, pharmacies, and clinics; this is a 38% increase from the allocation of the prior week. Overall, the county has been allotted a total of 14,740 doses of Paxlovid since the medication was first approved by the FDA to treat high-risk patients for COVID-19.
For the week February 25, L.A. County also received 4,392 doses of Molnupiravir, Merck’s oral treatment, a 110% increase from the amount sent the prior week. Since its FDA approval, the county has been allocated over 36,700 doses that have been distributed to county providers, pharmacies, and clinics.
The county also was allocated 336 doses of Evusheld; this is an increase of 367% from the allocation the previous week.
In total, more than 60,000 doses of these three COVID-19 therapeutics have been distributed across LA County since they first became available in December.
Residents who would like to access these medicines or have questions on which treatment is right for them should contact their medical provider or call the COVID-19 information line at 833-540-0473, 8:00 am – 8:30 pm daily.
Submitted by: L.A. County Department of Public Health