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Not enough people sick with COVID-19 getting eligible medications, SNHD says

Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 10:44 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The Southern Nevada Health District said supplies are plentiful for COVID-19 medications, which indicates not enough people are accessing the pill or infusion treatments during this latest surge in cases.

“There’s more people that are certainly eligible for the medications that are not accessing the medication. So certainly that’s a concern that we have,” said Dr. Cort Lohff of SNHD.

The paxlovid (Pfizer) and molnupiravir anti-viral pills, which work similar to flu medications, are currently available via prescription. Monoclonal antibody therapies are also available via prescriptions as well.

Latest case numbers show roughly more than 1,000 people testing positive a day on PCR tests; those do not count at-home tests, and actual case counts are significantly higher.

Those with underlying health conditions or who are at high risk are urged to contact a doctor before moderate to severe symptoms emerge. Conditions may include pregnancy, obesity, smoking, asthma, diabetes, COPD, learning disabilities, age and advanced age. (See CDC list of high risk individuals, and underlying health conditions)

“If you are sick, get tested, and then also reach out to your health care professional because you may fall into the eligibility for ... these therapies,” said Dr. Tracy Wakefield said, the regional director for Centerwell Senior Primary Care. Dr. Wakefield has been working to help seniors access medications.

“Advancing age is a risk factor for severe illness for COVID-19. Even though in general, the the the the Omicron variant is milder, you can still experience severe illness, especially in patients who are unvaccinated, unboosted. We know that these individuals are 50 times more likely to have severe illness and end up with hospitalization,” she said.

The majority of recent hospitalizations in Clark County are seniors over 64, followed by adults over 50.

Dr. Wakefield urges people to wear high-grade masks indoors in public spaces, and make sure they are up to date on their vaccines and boosters.

FREE TESTING, PRESCRIPTIONS, MEDICATIONS

SNHD: If you do not have a doctor, you can visit the SNHD clinic at 280 S. Decatur Boulevard for a free test, prescription for paxlovid and molnupiravir, or even a prescription for antibody therapy at a separate location.

CVS: According to CVS, anyone without a doctor or insurance can obtain a test for free, as well as a prescription for paxlovid and molnupiravir for free.

Statewide resources: for other free clinics, contact (800) 401-0946 or visit NVHealthResponse