Covid-19 patient from Walderslade given ground-breaking antiviral treatment Paxlovid

A Chatham woman suffering from coronavirus is one of a number of patients who have been given a ground-breaking anti-Covid drug at home that lessens symptoms “within hours”.
covid 19

The antiviral treatment that decreases the risk of serious illness has been given to more than 32,000 patients since being introduced for patients outside of hospital late last year. Named Paxlovid, the treatment was found in trials to reduce hospitalisations and deaths by 88% and has been given to over 1,400 patients in the last week alone.

One patient who has been helped by Paxlovid is 56-year-old Helen West of Walderslade, Chatham. Helen suffers from ankylosing spondylitis, a rare type of arthritis in which the spine and other areas of the body become inflamed, stiff and painful. As a result, she has to take medication that suppresses her immune system. After contracting Covid, her consultant at Medway NHS Foundation Trust offered her Paxlovid. After initially rejecting the treatment, her joints became more painful. She then changed her mind and contacted the hospital. Helen said: “The process was so quick and efficient. Within six hours of taking the first tablet I felt a very slight improvement. After four days, I was back to work. Covid hit me hard but Paxlovid really made a positive difference to my recovery.”

The national medical director of the NHS, Professor Stephen Powis, said:

It’s fantastic that since launching the latest antiviral treatment Paxlovid just over a month ago, thousands of our most vulnerable patients have already had access to this latest cutting-edge, life-saving treatment … Antivirals are another weapon in our arsenal to reduce hospital admissions and fatalities amongst patients at highest risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19 and needing hospitalisation … Getting vaccinated is still the best way to protect you and your loved ones from Covid, and to date, our world leading vaccination programme has delivered over 119 million doses — including more than 32 million boosters — and I would urge anyone who hasn’t yet been jabbed to come forward for your first, second or booster jab as soon as possible.
— Professor Stephen Powis

Paxlovid is being used to help those deemed most likely to become seriously ill with covid or need hospitalisation in line with government guidance. It prevents the virus from multiplying in cells, helping patients to recover more quickly. Sajid Javid, the Health and Social Care Secretary, said:

We have secured more antivirals per head than any other country in Europe - almost five million doses for NHS patients …Both of our groundbreaking antivirals – molnupiravir and Paxlovid – are available to those most vulnerable to the virus directly through the NHS … For anyone not in this high-risk group, if you’re aged 50 and over or 18 to 49 with an underlying health condition and test positive, you can sign up to the PANORAMIC study to potentially access this treatment too.
— Sajid Javid

For more information on who can access treatments and their availability, click the link here. 


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