Windsor Regional Hospital to use anti-viral and antibody treatments for high-risk COVID-19 patients

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Windsor regional Hospital Ouellette campus is shown in this file photo. The hospital has been approved to use an anti-viral and antibody medication on COVID-19 patients meeting a certain criteria.  (Mike Evans/CBC - image credit)
Windsor regional Hospital Ouellette campus is shown in this file photo. The hospital has been approved to use an anti-viral and antibody medication on COVID-19 patients meeting a certain criteria. (Mike Evans/CBC - image credit)

Windsor Regional Hospital has been given approval to use two medications — one an anti-viral and the other an antibody — to treat COVID-19 in patients who meet certain criteria.

However, both medications are in limited supply, the hospital said in a media statement Friday.

The anti-viral treatment is Pfizer's Paxlovid, which was approved by Health Canada for those18 and older earlier this month. Paxlovid is an oral antiviral treatment prescribed by a doctor and administered in pill form. It is designed to help the body fight off the SARS-CoV-2 virus, reduce symptoms from an infection and shorten the period of illness.

After months of clinical trials, Pfizer reported in November that Paxlovid reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by a 89 per cent compared to a placebo in non-hospitalized high-risk adults with COVID-19.

The drug is supposed to be administered within five days of the onset of COVID-19 symptoms to be effective, with patients taking three pills twice daily for five days.

Windsor Regional Hospital said this drug would be used for high-risk patients who have mild or moderate COVID-19 symptoms.

The other medication, Sotrovimab, is an antibody infusion treatment which will be prescribed to patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms. It was approved by Health Canada in July 2021. This treatment is given via IV.

Sotrovimab is recommended as an outpatient treatment to prevent hospitalizations in "very select populations," according to Windsor Regional Hospital.

The hospital said only certain people will qualify for either treatment, as outlined by Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table. This incudes individuals at a higher risk of severe illness including:

  • Unvaccinated individuals aged 60 and over.

  • Unvaccinated First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals aged 50 and over.

The medications are not replacements for a vaccine, the hospital urged.

Windsor Regional Hospital said that if individuals think they may qualify for the treatments, they should book an appointment at the hospital's Ouellette Campus Clinical Assessment Centre.

Individuals should bring a list of and medical conditions they have, or any medications they are taking.

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