Anti-viral pills to fight COVID-19 now available at select New Jersey Walgreens locations

Anti-viral pills that can fight off COVID-19 are now available in some pharmacies in New Jersey.
The bills are prescription only, and are seen as a lifesaving tool for those who have contracted the virus. They are currently only available at some Walgreens stores in the state.
The Biden administration has currently sent the drugs to some pharmacies in 30 states. There are two options: Paxlovid, which is manufactured by Pfizer, and Molnupiravir, which is made by Merck. Both are for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are at risk for severe illness and hospitalization.
For Paxlovid, clinical trials have shown that one dose taken every 12 hours for five days offered a 90% reduction in hospitalization and death. But the treatment was needed within three days of symptoms showing up.
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Patients using Molnupiravir needed four capsules every 12 hours for five days to prevent severe illness. Treatment was suggested within five days of the first symptoms developing.
Molnupiravir works by introducing errors into the SARS-CoV-2 virus' genetic code. That stops the virus from replicating. Paxlovid also works to stop the virus from replicating in human cells.
"For people who do get sick in the future and are at risk of severe outcomes, having pills they can take to keep them out of the hospital could be a lifesaver," Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Health and Human Services are sending the pills to those areas most in need.
"Store locations are prioritized based on rapid and drive-thru testing capabilities, high levels of COVID-19 within the community, vaccination rates and accessibility for high risk, socially vulnerable populations,” a spokesperson for Walgreens said in a statement.
While these pills are not a replacement for vaccination, federal officials say they could help the U.S. get out of the pandemic.
Information about where the pills can be found is located on HealthData.gov.