Work underway to bring PAXLOVID to Yukon

Acting chief medical officer of health Catherine Elliott. (Yukon News file)

Acting chief medical officer of health Catherine Elliott. (Yukon News file)

The territory’s acting chief medical officer of health and minister of Health and Social Services say the territory is working with the federal government to get its first allocation of PAXLOVID, the first COVID-19 therapy to be approved by Health Canada.

In a Jan. 20 joint statement, Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee and acting CMOH Catherine Elliott said they’re pleased the drug has been authorized to treat adults with mild to moderate COVID-19, who may be at risk for developing more serious disease.

“The new oral antiviral drug PAXLOVID, developed by Pfizer, is the first COVID-19 therapy that can be taken at home,” the statement reads. “The new drug is a combination of two medications that work to stop the virus from replicating and greatly reducing the likelihood of hospitalization or death in high-risk COVID-19 patients.”

McPhee and Elliott said there will be a very limited quantity, though additional courses will be available in the weeks and months ahead.

“While this adds a new option for health care providers treating people with COVID-19, please know that these drugs are not an alternative to vaccination,” the statement reads. “Vaccination remains the best way to prevent serious outcomes from COVID-19 and we encourage all Yukoners to roll up their sleeve and get vaccinated and get a booster.”

As of Jan. 19, there were 298 recorded active COVID-19 cases in the territory based on PCR testing. That number does not include rapid test results.

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