White House expands availability of COVID-19 antiviral drug

Posted at 7:53 AM, Apr 26, 2022

President Joe Biden’s administration is taking steps to expand availability of the lifesaving COVID-19 antiviral treatment Paxlovid.

The White House’s new plan aims to double the number of places where people can find Paxlovid.

In the next few weeks, thousands of pharmacies across the country will be able to order supply of the drug from the federal government.

The administration is trying to reassure doctors that there is ample supply for people at high risk of severe illness or death from the coronavirus.

Paxlovid reduces the risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 by 90%. It is authorized for use in patients 12 years or older and are at high risk of developing severe symptoms.

It is produced by Pfizer and was first approved in December.

Supply of the regimen was initially very limited.

But as COVID-19 cases across the country have fallen and manufacturing has increased, it is now far more abundant.

White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha says the administration wants to make the treatment available to anyone who needs it.