As per the April 25, 2022 Public Health Advisory 


What is Paxlovid?

Paxlovid is a new antiviral treatment that is used in adults to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients who have a high risk of developing severe COVID-19.  In other words, it can be used by high risk individuals during the early stage of a COVID-19 infection to prevent the progression of the disease to a serious infection which would result in hospitalization, or possibly even death.  

In order for this treatment to be effective, it must be started within 5 days of symptom onset, so if you are in an eligible high risk group and believe you have contracted COVID-19, be sure to contact your healthcare professional as soon as possible so you don't miss this window.  


Who is eligible?

Paxlovid is currently only available by prescription for certain high-risk groups.  To be eligible for Paxlovid you must be in one of the following high risk groups, AND begin the treatment no later than 5 days after symptom onset:

  • People who are immunocompromised
  • People aged 70 and over
  • People aged 60 and over with fewer than 3 doses
  • People aged 18 and over with fewer than 3 doses, AND at least one of the following risk conditions:
    • obesity
    • diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, or congestive heart failure
    • chronic respiratory disease (incl. cystic fibrosis)
    • cerebral palsy
    • intellectual or developmental disability
    • sickle cell disease
    • moderate to severe liver disease
    • moderate to severe kidney disease
    • pregnancy


How does it work?

Paxlovid consists of nirmatrelvir, which inhibits a SARS-CoV-2 protein to stop the virus from replicating, and ritonavir, which slows down nirmatrelvir’s breakdown to help it remain in the body for a longer period at higher concentrations. Paxlovid is administered as three tablets (two tablets of nirmatrelvir and one tablet of ritonavir) taken together orally twice daily for five days, for a total of 30 tablets.