Ontario Expanding Access to COVID-19 Antivirals
As part of its plan to stay open and manage COVID-19 for the long-term, the Ontario government is expanding eligibility for COVID-19 antiviral treatments and PCR testing to more high-risk individuals. Doing so will offer increased protection to the most vulnerable and ensure hospital capacity remains stable.
Effective immediately, the following higher-risk groups are eligible to be tested and assessed for antiviral treatments, such as Paxlovid, in Ontario:
- Individuals aged 18 and over who are immunocompromised (have an immune system that is weakened by a health condition or medications);
- Individuals aged 70 and over;
- Individuals aged 60 and over with fewer than three vaccine doses; and
- Individuals aged 18 and over with fewer than three vaccine doses and at least one risk condition (e.g., a chronic medical condition)
Anyone who is eligible for an assessment is now also eligible for a PCR test at any testing centre in Ontario. A positive test is required as part of the assessment for eligibility for antiviral treatment; a positive rapid antigen test (including a rapid antigen test self-administered at home), a PCR or rapid molecular test are all acceptable testing options.
Beginning April 12, Ontario is making it easier for eligible individuals with a prescription to access antivirals by expanding dispensing locations to include participating pharmacies across the province.
An initial list of pharmacies that are dispensing Paxlovid will be available on the Ministry of Health website as of Wednesday, April 13 at 8:00 a.m. The list will be regularly updated as the list of participating pharmacies expands.
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