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Expanding Paxlovid accessibility

Paxlovid available more widely to Albertans with COVID-19.
Broader access to the COVID-19 treatment now available. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

A treatment for COVID-19 is now easier to access, according to a government press release.

All prescribers in Alberta (physicians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists) can now prescribe Paxlovid, an oral treatment that can lower the risk of serious outcomes from COVID-19, if they choose to.

In addition, Alberta will also accept rapid tests in some circumstances for the purpose of confirming COVID-19 infection in order to prescribe Paxlovid.

“We now have enough supply of Paxlovid in our province so more Albertans can more easily receive treatment," said Health MInister Jason Copping.

Accessing Paxlovid

Paxlovid is available to Albertans who have a COVID-19 infection and meet the current eligibility criteria. Treatment should begin within five days of symptom onset.

If an Albertan meets these criteria, they are encouraged to contact their primary care practitioner to discuss treatment options, including Paxlovid.

This transition will be gradual as prescribers ensure they are comfortable prescribing this medication. As the transition evolves, Albertans will be able to access the treatment through more providers.    

Albertans who do not have a family doctor, pharmacist or other primary care provider, or whose provider is not providing Paxlovid prescriptions, can access the centralized AHS process by calling 1-844-343-0971.

Although testing through an AHS assessment centre is preferred, if prescribers assess a positive point of care test result, like a rapid antigen test, as reliable, this can be used for the purpose of prescribing Paxlovid. 

Prescribers may offer testing in their clinics or may work with patients to determine if a rapid antigen test performed by the patient at home is suitable to prescribe Paxlovid. Rapid antigen tests for home use are available to all Albertans at no charge through pharmacies. A list of pharmacies with available rapid antigen tests can be found online.   

All pharmacies in the province can order Paxlovid treatments. A list of pharmacies with Paxlovid supply can be found online.