Island Health says it is now offering two new outpatient therapeutic options to treat adults at high risk of serious outcomes due to COVID-19 infection.
Island Health says that the therapies available include Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir/ritonavir), an oral antiviral drug that can be taken at home, and sotrovimab, a monoclonal antibody administered by intravenous infusion in a clinic or hospital setting.
Both of these new treatment options have been licensed by Health Canada and Island Health says they’ve shown to be very effective.
“By exploring the use of these new therapies, we’re helping high-risk people in our communities recover better, faster and with fewer symptoms,” said Adrian Dix, Health Minister. “It’s through these innovations we’re giving people their lives back, without the need for a lengthy hospital inpatient stay and complications that partner with a progression of the disease.”
A Paralympics athlete living in Victoria, Chris Daw, says that the new treatment options have been very beneficial.
“Without this treatment, I would probably be in the hospital on a ventilator fighting for my life,” said Chris Daw, a 52-year-old Paralympic athlete living in Victoria. “I have a rare form of sleep apnea and also had gallbladder surgery not long ago, so Island Health contacted me as they thought I would be a good candidate for this new therapy.”
Daw continued by saying, “I went from feeling like I had the flu with a massive headache, lower back pain, a clogged ear and being super tired to feeling 90 per cent myself within three hours of the treatment. I can’t believe how I bounced back so quickly. This treatment made such a difference.”
Island Health notes that both new treatment options might not be suitable for everyone and must be prescribed by a healthcare provider who can assess interactions with other conditions or medications.
The Province has also launched a new online assessment tool so that people can determine if they might benefit from one of the new anti-viral treatments.