Pharmacies across metro Atlanta and rural Georgia will begin providing doctor prescribed COVID-19 antiviral pills.
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The medications produced by Pfizer and Merck have received emergency-use Food and Drug Administration approval. Research found the Pfizer version of the oral therapy provided 85% protection against hospitalization and death in at-risk patients.
Pharmacist Randall Colton Satterfied works for Adams Family Pharmacy in Preston, Georgia.
“I have some doctors who are questioning me about this, when are we going to get these? I’m ready to start getting these to my patients” Satterfied said.
His pharmacy is among 50 private and retail chain pharmacies that will begin distributing the initial shipments of more than 9,000 anti-viral doses in Georgia.
“It will decrease the amount of people going into the hospital and open up availability to those who are really bad cases.” Satterfield said.
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However, there’s a catch. The anti-viral pill must be taken within days of catching the virus to keep it from spreading into respiratory cells and causing severe illness. A doctor must write a prescription.
“If you have symptoms, the best thing we can do is go ahead and get tested. Don’t wait, sit back.” Satterfield said.
Some Walmart shoppers said they are a little hesitant about taking the COVID-19 pills.
“I would want to do a little more research on it,” Sharlee Thompson said.
Others called it another important weapon to combat COVID-19.
“If the COVID pill would help, I would certainly be willing to try it,” Donald Alexander said.
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The anti-viral pills are taken over a period of days. Doctors will prioritize prescriptions of the pills to older patients, especially those with underlying illness and compromised immune systems.
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