COVID-19: NYC offering free home delivery of antiviral pills

New York City’s health department is now offering free, same-day, at-home delivery of COVID-19 oral antiviral medications, Mayor Eric Adams announced Sunday.

“Delivering the antiviral pills to you at home if you’re an eligible New Yorker and it’s for free,” Adams said during a press conference at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. “We want you to take advantage of this. This is a great deal and a great program we put together, and it’s proven to keep people out of the hospital, particularly those who are at-risk or seriously ill. It’s a win-win for us.”

The city’s pharmacy partner, Alto Pharmacy, will deliver antiviral pill treatments Paxlovid, developed by Pfizer, and Molnupiravir, made by Merck, according to a press release from the mayor’s office. Both medications were approved in December for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat COVID-19.

“New York is one of the only places in the nation where we are doing this free deliver,” Adams told reporters.

Molnupiravir, an antiviral pill treatment developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, is seen in this undated handout photo released by Merck and obtained by Reuters on Oct. 26, 2021.
With a limited supply of pills, the city restricted delivery to only residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have mild or moderate symptoms.

“Oral antiviral pills, like Paxlovid and Molnupiravir, taken for five days help stop the virus from reproducing, which reduces the amount of virus in the body and prevents symptoms from getting worse,” New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi said during Sunday’s press conference.

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