State Gets New COVID Drugs | News, Sports, Jobs

MARQUETTE – Michigan has received its first shipment of new oral drugs to treat COVID-19 – paxlovid and molnupiravir – following recent emergency use clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that these antivirals are designed for outpatient treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19. Both drugs can only be prescribed to a patient by physicians, advanced practice nurses, and physician assistants.

When given to outpatients within five days of symptom onset, these antivirals may reduce symptoms and the risk of hospitalizations and emergency room visits associated with the virus, the MDDHS said.

Due to the limited supply of these drugs, the MDHHS has developed eligibility criteria and prescribing requirements for antivirals.

“The authorization of these new drugs provides another important tool to help fight the virus”, MDHHS director Elizabeth Hertel said in a statement. “Due to the limited availability of these antivirals, healthcare providers will need to determine the best treatment for their patients based on eligibility criteria.

“We ask the Michiganders to be patient as suppliers will prioritize those most at risk of developing serious illness from the virus. We are committed to distributing these pills fairly statewide, and access will increase as Michigan receives more allowances from the federal government. “

The MDHHS has indicated that priority eligibility criteria for therapeutic products, including antiviral drugs and monoclonal antibody therapy, will remain in effect until supply is able to meet demand and will be revised. periodically, as appropriate.

MDHHS officials continue to strongly recommend getting the vaccine and receiving a booster for the best protection against the virus.

“It’s important to remember that these drugs are not a substitute for protection from getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public places. MDHHS medical director Dr Natasha Bagdasarian said in a statement. “Getting the vaccine continues to be the best protection against serious illness and hospitalization, and we urge all Michiganders over the age of 5 to get the vaccine as soon as possible.

“Continue to wear well-fitting masks over your nose and mouth, test and socially distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, avoid large gatherings, and get vaccinated and boosted if you haven’t already.”

Paxlovid is indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients 12 years of age and older who are at high risk of progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, and who meet the criteria current priority eligibility.

Paxlovid currently has limited availability in some federally qualified health centers and tribal health centers, as well as some Meijer pharmacies in Southeast and East Central Michigan.

Molnupiravir is indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults 18 years of age and older who are at high risk of progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, and only when d Other FDA-approved COVID-19 treatment options are not accessible or clinically appropriate and meet current priority eligibility criteria.

Molnupiravir currently has limited availability at all Meijer pharmacies, depending on supply, and some retail pharmacies in areas not served by Meijer, also depending on supply.

Treatment with monoclonal antibodies continues to be an important therapy for mild to moderate COVID-19 infections and is preferred over treatment with molnupiravir whenever monoclonal antibody therapy is readily available, the MDHHS said.

Based on the current evidence, monoclonal antibody therapy is also a comparable alternative to paxlovid for patients who do not have access to the oral drug, who have contraindications to the drug such as pregnancy, or who are beyond five days but within 10 days of onset of symptoms.

Treatment with monoclonal antibodies should be considered for patients who fall within the low-risk eligible levels in the priority eligibility criteria, the MDHHS said.

Additional information on oral antiviral drugs and monoclonal antibody therapy, including priority eligibility criteria based on the MDHHS fear resource allocation principles is available at Michigan.gov/ COVIDTherapy.

Boosters in demand

residents aged 12 and over

Following FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approval, MDHHS urges all eligible residents aged 12 and over to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech booster vaccine if they have received their first set of COVID vaccines -19.

Currently, Pfizer-BioNTech is the only vaccine authorized for anyone between the ages of 5 and 18.

In addition, it is recommended to take the booster five months after the primary vaccination instead of six months, according to the MDHHS.

Children aged 5 to 11 years with moderately to severely weakened immune systems are encouraged to receive an additional dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine 28 days after completing their primary series.

As previously recommended, people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems should receive an additional dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. , said the MDHHS. This additional dose is intended to improve the response of immunocompromised people to their initial series of vaccines.

“Vaccines are the way out of the pandemic, and we can further protect children aged 12 and over from COVID-19, which continues to rise in our state,” Bagdasarian said. “Keeping our children safe means getting them vaccinated and getting them vaccinated, which in turn will help keep them from going to the hospital and alleviate the stress on our healthcare system. “

The MDHHS noted that the COVID-19 Pfizer booster dose can be given at the same time as other vaccines, including the flu shot.

Residents should bring their COVID-19 vaccination card or vaccination record with them when they receive their booster dose, which is available from any vaccine supplier.

Downloadable immunization records are available free of charge on the Michigan Immunization Portal. Individuals can visit Michigan.gov/MiImmsportal and download valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, state ID, or passport. People who do not have a record in the portal can contact their health care provider or the local health department.

To schedule a primary or booster dose of the COVID vaccine, visit vaccines.gov.

Medical official recommends recall for young people

Dr. Pino Colone, president of the Michigan State Medical Society, issued a statement in response to the CDC’s recommendation that vaccinated children aged 12 to 15 receive the Pfizer-BioNTech booster.

“The Michigan State Medical Society and our state’s medical community are standing with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association in recommending that eligible and vaccinated children between the ages of 12 and 15 seek a booster. COVID-19. “ he said. “With the students now back in class and the omicron variant continuing to rise, the extra dose of defense provided by a booster is the best way to protect and protect our children and teens.

“The evidence is clear: getting vaccinated and boosted is the best way to stay protected from the harshest and most dangerous effects of COVID-19. With the increase in hospitalizations of children infected with COVID across the country, there is no doubt that energizing our children is the best way to ensure that our families and loved ones stay safe and healthy. “

Aspirus: avoiding medical misinformation

Aspirus Health, based in Wausau, Wisconsin, urges people to avoid incorrect medical information regarding COVID-19.

Dr Jacob Prunuske, who has been a medical doctor for over 20 years and has supervised Aspirus resident doctors for the past six years, said being able to identify reliable sources is critical.

“There is a lot of misinformation on the internet right now and there are ways to identify it” Prunuske said in a press release. “What are the credentials of the person providing the information? Is the information consistent with other sources? And what is the reputation of the source? Can you actually contact the organization or is it just a blog post? “

Further changes to health and safety guidelines are to be expected as he continues to learn more about COVID-19, Aspirus Health officials said in a press release. However, officials stressed that without sufficient communication that provides clarity and context, many people will find it difficult to keep up with evolving knowledge and advice.

“This is how science works” said Prunuske. “Over time, we collect more data to make better decisions. I think it’s important for all of us to stay on top of the news.

Medical misinformation has confused and led people to refuse COVID-19 vaccines, reject public health measures and use unproven treatments, Aspirus officials said.

Aspirus has provided a list of suggestions that individuals, families, and communities can make to help stop the spread of medical misinformation:

Learn how to identify and avoid sharing false health information.

Verify the accuracy of the information by checking with reputable and credible sources. If you’re not sure, don’t share.

Engage with your friends and family on the issue of health misinformation. If someone you care about has the wrong perception, you may be able to make progress with them by seeking to understand first rather than passing judgment.

Combat health misinformation in your community by working with schools, community groups such as churches and parent-teacher associations, and trusted leaders such as educators and health professionals, to develop local strategies against disinformation.

“I think the most important thing is to be curious, to be curious, to be ready to change your perspective based on data and science” said Prunuske. “And then see your doctor or a public health professional to see if you’re on the right track. “

Aspirus Health officials recommend that people receive their health information from their local health care providers, reputable information sources, and dedicated public health agencies such as state and local health departments, the National Institutes of Health and the CDC, among others.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. His email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net

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