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COVID-19 Treatment & Preventive Options

This page provides information for patients, providers, and the public on available outpatient COVID-19 treatment & preventive options.

COVID-19 Treatment Options (for those sick with COVID-19)

Overview

Outpatient treatments for COVID-19 are available – see the dropdowns below for more information on options. These treatments can help prevent hospitalization, reduce risk of severe disease, and save lives.

  • Most patients who test positive for COVID-19 are eligible for treatment. After you receive a positive test result, talk to a health care provider immediately to see if COVID-19 treatment may be right for you – even if your symptoms are mild.
  • People who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are especially encouraged to seek treatment. This includes people who are older (65+) and/or have certain medical conditions.
  • Act fast – treatment must be started within days of initially feeling sick.
  • If you are a patient seeking COVID-19 treatment, please consult a health care provider. If you need to find a health care provider, call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258). You can also visit a Test-to-Treat site to receive testing, an evaluation by a health care provider, and a prescription for oral antiviral treatment at one location.
  • If you are a provider seeking access to COVID-19 treatments, please see Information for Providers below.

COVID-19 treatments are not substitutes for vaccination against COVID-19. We encourage all eligible Pennsylvanians to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible. Find more information on COVID-19 vaccines

The information below summarizes key information on COVID-19 outpatient treatment options that are currently being distributed by DOH. For information on the full list of therapies under emergency use authorization or approval by the FDA, view this overview of authorized or approved therapeutics. For additional information, visit combatcovid.hhs.gov or ASPR.

Oral Antivirals

What are oral antivirals?
Oral antivirals are oral medications (pills) that prevent worsening or progression of illness during the early days of infection.

What oral antiviral products are available?

Am I eligible for oral antivirals?
Oral antivirals are authorized for non-hospitalized patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. Patients must be aged 12+ for Paxlovid and aged 18+ for Lagevrio. Talk to a health care provider to confirm your eligibility.
 
When can oral antivirals be taken?
Both Paxlovid and Lagevrio must be taken within the first 5 days of COVID-19 symptom onset.

How effective are oral antivirals?
In clinical trials, Paxlovid reduced the risk of hospitalizations and deaths by 88%, and Lagevrio reduced the risk of hospitalizations and deaths by 30%.

How can I access oral antivirals?
This therapeutic requires a prescription by a health care provider. Consult a health care provider or visit a Test to Treat location to determine if these therapies are right for you and, if appropriate, receive a prescription.

The following resources can help you locate sites with product. Note: DOH site lists include all sites that have received product from the state. Current stock of product is not guaranteed; it is recommended to call sites to confirm availability.

Monoclonal Antibodies for Treatment

What are monoclonal antibodies for treatment?  
Monoclonal antibodies for treatment are an intravenous (IV) injection of antibodies that prevent worsening or progression of illness during the early days of infection.

What monoclonal antibodies for treatment products are available?

IMPORTANT UPDATE:  On November 30. 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that bebtelovimab is no longer authorized for emergency use in the U.S. because it is not expected to neutralize Omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1.  Please visit the FDA's website for additional details. You may also contact ASPR at COVID19Therapeutics@hhs.gov should you have additional questions.

Health care providers should use other approved or authorized products that are expected to retain activity against BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 as they choose appropriate treatment options for patients, which include the following: 

  • Paxlovid is authorized for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kg) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death. 
  • Veklury is approved for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients (28 days of age and older and weighing at least 3 kg) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, who are not hospitalized and have mild-to-moderate COVID-19 and are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death. 
  • Lagevrio is authorized for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, and for whom alternative COVID-19 treatment options approved or authorized by FDA are not accessible or clinically appropriate.

COVID-19 Preventive Options (for those not yet sick with COVID-19)

Overview

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for preventing COVID-19 infection is available – see below for more information on the option currently being distributed by PA DOH, Evusheld. 

  • This therapeutic is given to patients before contracting COVID-19, as a protective measure. Evusheld is not a substitute for the COVID-19 vaccine. It is intended for people who are immunocompromised (have a weakened immune system due to a medical condition, or another medication) and may not receive adequate protection from a COVID-19 vaccine, or for whom vaccination is not recommended due to a history of severe adverse reaction.
  • If you are a patient seeking Evusheld, please consult a health care provider. If you need to find a health care provider, call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258).
  • If you are a provider seeking access to Evusheld, please see Information for Providers below.

The information below summarizes key information for currently available COVID-19 preventive options. For information on the full list of therapies under emergency use authorization or approval by the FDA, view this overview of authorized or approved therapeutics

Monoclonal Antibodies for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis

What are monoclonal antibodies for pre-exposure prophylaxis?
Monoclonal antibodies for pre-exposure prophylaxis are an intramuscular (IM) injection of antibodies that help neutralize the COVID-19 virus to prevent infection and disease.

What monoclonal antibodies for pre-exposure prophylaxis products are available?

Am I eligible for monoclonal antibodies for pre-exposure prophylaxis?
Evusheld is authorized for immunocompromised patients aged 12+ who may need additional immunity beyond a vaccine to protect against COVID-19, or who are unable to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 due to a history of severe reactions. Patients must have a negative COVID-19 test and no known recent exposure. Talk to a health care provider to confirm your eligibility.

When can monoclonal antibodies for pre-exposure prophylaxis be administered?
Evusheld must be administered before exposure to COVID-19. A negative COVID-19 test and no known recent exposure are required.
 
How effective are monoclonal antibodies for pre-exposure prophylaxis?
In clinical trials, Evusheld resulted in a 77% reduction in developing symptomatic COVID-19 and an 83% reduction in developing symptomatic COVID-19 after six months.

How can I access monoclonal antibodies for pre-exposure prophylaxis? 
This therapeutic requires a prescription by a health care provider. Consult a health care provider to determine if this therapy is right for you and, if appropriate, receive a prescription.

The following resources can help you locate sites with product. Note: DOH site lists include all sites that have received product from the state. Current stock of product is not guaranteed; it is recommended to call sites to confirm availability.


Additional Frequently Asked Questions

Will my insurance cover testing and treatment for COVID-19?
All major medical, Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant plans, including those available through the PA state-based exchange (www.pennie.com), Medicare, and Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) should cover medically appropriate diagnostic testing and associated treatment. View more information about insurance coverage for COVID-19.

What should I do if I do not have insurance?
Most COVID-19 therapeutics including Paxlovid, Lagevrio, bebtelovimab, and Evusheld are currently distributed by the federal government for free. However, providers may charge fees to receive an evaluation/prescription or for the administration/dispensing of the drug. If you do not have insurance, ask the treatment facility to confirm the cost. View more information about what to do if you do not have insurance.

What are the potential side effects of COVID-19 therapeutics?
Side effects of COVID-19 therapeutics vary by product, but examples include fever, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, high blood pressure, and muscle aches. This is not an exhaustive list. Talk to your health care provider before starting any COVID-19 medication.

Can I receive COVID-19 oral antiviral or monoclonal antibody treatment if I have received a COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, you are eligible for oral antivirals or monoclonal antibodies for treatment if you received one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to a health care provider to confirm your eligibility.

Can I receive a COVID-19 vaccine if I have received COVID-19 oral antiviral or monoclonal antibody treatment?
Yes, getting vaccinated is a priority and updated CDC guidance states that it is not required to delay COVID-19 vaccination following receipt of oral antivirals or monoclonal antibodies.

What is Test to Treat?
Test to Treat is a nationwide program designed to quickly connect eligible individuals to lifesaving COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment. At Test to Treat centers, you can get tested for COVID-19, receive a prescription from a health care provider if appropriate, and have your prescriptions filled – all at one convenient location.

Individuals who receive COVID-19 test results through at-home tests or another testing site can also utilize a Test to Treat location to receive a prescription from a qualified health care provider and treatment on the spot if eligible. Some Test to Treat sites have telehealth options available as well.

View more information about Test to Treat.

How can I find Test to Treat sites?
Test to Treat sites are now available in Pennsylvania and include pharmacy-based clinics, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), long-term care facilities (LTCFs) and community-based sites.

You can visit the COVID-19 Test to Treat locator to identify participating Test to Treat centers as well as sites to fill an oral antiviral prescription. If accessing the internet is difficult or additional support is required, you can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to get help in English, Spanish, and more than 150 other languages – 8 am to midnight ET, 7 days a week.

The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is also available to specifically help people with disabilities access services. To get help, call 1-888-677-1199, Monday-Friday from 9am to 8pm ET or email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.

I received the initial lower dose of Evusheld prior to the dosage update on February 24, 2022 and need a second dose. How can I get it?
On February 24, 2022, the FDA revised the Evusheld dosing regimen upward because available data indicated that a higher dose of Evusheld may be more likely to prevent infection by the COVID-19 Omicron sub-variants BA.1 and BA.1.1. than the originally authorized Evusheld dose. If you received an initial lower dose of Evusheld (150 mg of tixagevimab and 150 mg of cilgavimab), talk to your health care provider and return for an additional dose (150 mg of tixagevimab and 150 mg of cilgavimab) as soon as possible.

Where can I find additional information on COVID-19 treatment & preventive options?
Please see HHS-ASPR and CDC for additional information and resources. Talk to a health care provider to learn more.  If you need to find a health care provider, call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258).

Information for Providers

COVID-19 Therapeutics Handbook   

If you are dispensing/administering COVID-19 therapeutics or are interested in doing so, please refer to
PA DOH's COVID-19 therapeutics handbook, which summarizes key information for providers and distribution partners. This document will be revised periodically to reflect changes in process, procedure, or guidance at the state or federal level. Please see supplemental information below.

Locating COVID-19 Therapeutics

The following resources can help you locate COVID-19 therapeutics. Note: PA DOH site lists include all sites that have received product from the state. Current stock of product is not guaranteed; it is recommended to call sites to confirm availability.

Enrolling in PA DOH's Therapeutics Distribution Network

To begin the process of receiving federally-procured, state-distributed COVID-19 therapeutics products, including oral antiviral medications, monoclonal antibodies for treatment, and/or monoclonal antibodies for pre-exposure prophylaxis,  please complete this enrollment form.

In addition to completing the enrollment form, you will need a verified account on the federal Health Partner Ordering Portal (HPOP) system. HPOP is a web-based tool developed by HHS for managing and reporting key metrics associated with the distribution and administration of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. If you are not a registered HPOP user already, DOH will assist you in setting up your HPOP account once you have completed the PA DOH therapeutics enrollment form. Note that there are daily reporting requirements for these federally authorized products. You can find out how to submit information once you have been registered in the federal system.

Additional enrollment information can be found in the COVID-19 therapeutics handbook. For questions, please contact us at covidtherapeutics@pa.gov.

Registering as a Test to Treat Site

HHS-ASPR is looking to expand Test to Treat to as many locations as possible and will consider sites that meet the following criteria:

  • Provide comprehensive end-to-end test and treat services to support a seamless patient experience
    • COVID-19 testing on-site (or evaluation of at-home testing)
    • Linkage to clinical evaluation by licensed health care provider after positive test result to provide prescription when appropriate
    • Co-located or affiliated pharmacy that can readily dispense medication to eligible patient
  • Provide services to all individuals, regardless of insurance status
  • Accept new patients for priority same-day or next-day visit for COVID-19 services

If you fulfill these criteria, email PA DOH at covidtherapeutics@pa.gov attesting your eligibility to be considered as a Test to Treat site. We will then evaluate your request and if appropriate, nominate your site to HHS-ASPR for participation in the Test to Treat program.

COVID-19 Therapeutics Communications Toolkit

Additional PA DOH Resources for Providers

DOH hosts biweekly calls for therapeutics providers and stakeholders, Thursdays at 9 am EST. Please join these calls to be updated with the latest information. To be added to these calls, please email covidtherapeutics@pa.gov.

Additional Federal Resources for Providers

HHS-ASPR:

FDA:

NIH:

Additional links for providers can be found on the last page of the COVID-19 therapeutics handbook.