Gov’t working with UNICEF to secure Paxlovid for COVID-19 patients

Guyanese who test positive for COVID-19 for the first time will soon be able to take the Paxlovid pill to treat the disease.

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony said Wednesday, that the government has been working with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) to secure the medication.

Paxlovid Pill

“We have been working with UNICEF to be able to procure Paxlovid. So that’s something that’s still on the cards…and with Paxlovid if people test positive for COVID-19, we will be able to treat them… this is an oral treatment…you drink the tablets for five days and you should be well after taking the complete treatment,” the health minister said. 

Paxlovid is an oral antiviral medication produced by Pfizer. It starts combating the COVID-19 virus once it is taken.

The treatment was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in December of 2021 and is recommended to be given to persons as soon as they are diagnosed with COVID-19 and within five days of them developing symptoms of the disease.

The average cost for a treatment course is US$530, however, Guyana will get a discount.

“Paxlovid has been very difficult to source and it’s a very costly medication but through this initiative with UNICEF globally we are going to get it at a very discounted price and we have made an order for these medications”.

“I’m hoping that we can get it maybe within a month so that persons may be able to get the benefits of Paxlovid,” Dr Anthony said.

COVID-19 infections in Guyana remain low with just five new cases recorded on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the health minister is again urging persons to take their booster shots as this is proven to reduce their risk of severe disease.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.