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COVID-19 Winter Update 2022

Welcome to the 2022 Winter COVID-19 update. The following pages provide an overview of the current COVID-19 situation and practical advice for all Tasmanians.

Oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19

Last Updated: 29 Jul 2022 3:29pm

Some people who test positive for COVID-19 are more at risk of becoming seriously ill and requiring hospital treatment. There are some early treatment medications (known as antivirals) that are available for people at higher risk. If you are eligible, you will need to access antivirals quickly after testing positive for COVID-19. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to learn more about antivirals and make a treatment plan with your doctor or health care provider now.

For antiviral medicines to be effective at treating COVID-19 you need to start taking them within five days of symptoms starting. This is why you should make a treatment plan with your doctor before you get sick. It’s also another reason it is critical to get tested for COVID-19 as soon as you have any cold or flu symptoms.

People who have a higher chance of getting very sick from COVID-19 and are eligible for treatment include:

  • anyone aged 70 years or older
  • anyone aged 50 years or older who has two or more risk factors
  • anyone aged 30 years or older who is Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and has two or more risk factors
  • anyone who is over 18 and is immunocompromised or has a serious health condition

A full list of risk factors that may make you eligible is available here.

Even if you have a higher chance of severe illness from COVID-19, antiviral medicines may not be right for you. The prescribing doctor will assess you to decide whether antivirals are needed and safe for you to take. They will consider other medical conditions you may have, and any other medications you are  taking. COVID-19 treatments do not replace vaccination. Therefore, if you haven’t already, make sure you are up to date with your vaccinations for COVID-19 and flu.

Once you have been prescribed antivirals, they can be purchased from a pharmacy. If you have tested positive to COVID-19 and are in isolation, speak to your pharmacy about whether delivery options are available.

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