NYC offers free, same-day home delivery of antiviral Covid treatment pills

January 31, 2022

Photo credit: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday announced oral antiviral pills are now available for free same-day, at-home delivery for eligible New Yorkers. Oral antiviral pills–as well as monoclonal antibodies–have been shown to be effective in preventing hospitalization and death from Covid. The medication will be available for people who test positive for the virus, have mild or moderate symptoms, and have a doctor’s prescription; due to a limited supply, the city is prioritizing those who are at elevated risk for severe illness from the virus.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month authorized the oral antiviral pills Paxlovid and Molnupiravir to treat Covid. Taken daily for five days, the medicines help keep the virus from reproducing, preventing symptoms from worsening.

Paxlovid is authorized for use in adults and children 12 years and older; Molnupiravir is approved for adults 18 years or older. Alto Pharmacy will serve as the city’s exclusive provider of both drugs.

“We’ve not only decreased the amount of cases by more than 80 percent since early January, but hit a new milestone with 75 percent of all New Yorkers fully vaccinated — way ahead of the national average. We’re also offering high-risk New Yorkers, free, at-home delivery of COVID-19 antiviral pills to prevent serious illness and keep people out of the hospital,” Adams said during Sunday’s announcement in the Bronx.

“I urge all eligible New Yorkers to take advantage of this service, and for every New Yorker to stay up to date with their vaccines and boosters. This is about saving lives and getting our city moving again.”

The Health Department recommends testing as soon as you feel sick, as antiviral medications work best when taken at the outset of illness. New Yorkers who test positive should contact their doctor or call 212-COVID19 to find out more about care and treatment options, or speak to an NYC Health + Hospitals doctor at ExpressCare by clicking on “Talk to a Doctor Now.”

“Our city’s public health care system is seeing a decline in COVID-19 hospital admissions, but we are still very busy treating severely ill patients,” Mitch Katz, president and CEO of NYC Health and Hospitals, said. “Free, at-home delivery of these antiviral pills will keep high-risk New Yorkers out of the hospital so we can immediately free up critical resources.”

Statewide, Covid cases have dropped 90 percent since peaking on January 7, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office. New York City currently has the lowest seven-day average percentage of positive test results of any region in New York at 4.83 percent as of Saturday.


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More: Policy
Location: The Bronx

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