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St. Peter's Health provides information on Paxlovid

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Posted at 9:42 AM, Jul 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 11:42:34-04

HELENA — An antiviral treatment for Covid-19 approved last December known as Paxlovid is available for some who have contracted the virus. MTN spoke with St. Peter’s Health to find out more about the medication.

Paxlovid is intended for those who are at high risk for developing severe Covid-19. Dr. Todd Wampler, a family physician M.D. and president of the St. Peter’s Health Medical Group, told MTN that the medication has an 89% effectiveness rate of helping prevent severe cases or death from Covid-19.

The medication is available for adults and children 12 and above who are at least 88 lbs. And it must be started within 5 days of when symptoms start. Paxlovid works to fight off Covid-19 by disrupting the way the virus makes proteins.

Dr. Wampler cautions that just because you’ve had the virus before, doesn’t mean that your sickness will be less severe the second or even third go around.

“Well, it's really impossible to predict how sick you're going to get from Covid, particularly for people who have risk factors. Even if you've gotten it before, we are seeing people who still get very sick with Covid. It's a particular characteristic of this virus, that just getting the virus once doesn't prevent you from getting it again, and it can also make you very sick the second or even the third time around,” says Wampler.

Dr. Wampler says that Paxlovid is currently free to the public, but that you’ll need a prescription to obtain it.