Paxlovid is an oral antiviral drug, manufactured by Pfizer, that is used to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19. In clinical trials, Paxlovid reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89%. 

Paxlovid is fully authorized for use early in the course of a COVID-19 infection, when illness is mild or moderate, in people ages 12 and older who are at risk for disease progression and severe illness. Treatment must begin within five days of the onset of illness. People who are considered high risk include older adults and those with underlying medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.

Paxlovid is available over the counter by provider or pharmacist prescription. This medication will only be prescribed to those who meet the eligibility criteria and will not experience negative interactions with the medication. 

Paxlovid can also be provided by healthcare providers working within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “Test to Treat” program. Depending on medication availability at these community health sites, providers may be able to provide Paxlovid at no cost to qualifying community members.

Updated November 9, 2023