COVID-19 antiviral pills in Palm Beach

Starting Monday, people at high risk of severe illness for COVID-19 will be able to use a new tool in the fight against COVID-19.

The Health Care District of Palm Beach County is offering COVID-19 antiviral pills for free to people who qualify.

People who are able to get the free COVID-19 antiviral pills are people who are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, have mild symptoms and have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last five days.

People can sign up for in-person or virtual appointments to get the COVID-19 pills by calling the health care district at 561-642-1000.

The prescriptions will be available for free people who qualify at the 10 C.L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics in the county.

Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s Molnupiravir are the two medications being offered.

They were authorized for emergency use in December, and pharmacies have been able to apply for them ever since.

“That’s a game-changer,” said infectious disease specialist Dr. Larry Bush. “We have not had that in Palm Beach County, up until tomorrow, Valentine’s Day.” “It’s the health care district’s gift to all of us.”

He said while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization is currently for people at high risk for developing severe disease from COVID-19, he expects authorization for everyone by the spring.

“The FDA has to look at the data from people who were in the trial and in the trial it was only people with risk factors. I think that will get full approval rapidly and it will be available to everybody, and hopefully on the pharmacy shelves,” Bush said.

For a full list of clinics offering the COVID-19 antiviral oral pill, click here.