Ahead of the New Year, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization for two new pills to combat the effects of COVID-19: Paxlovid from Pfizer and Molnupiravir from Merck. New York Senator Chuck Schumer wants the federal government to prioritize sending the drug to the state after establishing a record number of incoming coronavirus cases in 2022.
“We are number one in terms of COVID cases,” Schumer said. “We are number one in terms of density. We are number one per capita. So we deserve to get as many of these antivirals as quickly as possible and as many as possible. “
Even though the state received a limited supply of the two drugs from the federal government, Schumer said New York would not have enough supply to meet current needs. He thinks the federal government should look at the states with the highest COVID-19 cases and put them first.
“The federal government shouldn’t be distributing them at all levels. They should look at where the greatest need is, ”he said. “New York needs it the most. The feds should put us at the top of the list. “
New York began 2022 with more than 85,000 people testing positive for COVID-19. The state also announced that more than 9,500 New Yorkers are hospitalized with the virus.
Schumer said the doses will be delivered to a few pharmacies in each county depending on population density, as well as Medicaid enrollment.
The pills are intended for people with mild or moderate COVID-19 who are more likely to become seriously ill, which includes the elderly and those with other health conditions – such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes – that make them more vulnerable. They should be taken as soon as possible as soon as symptoms appear.
Patients will need a prescription for both antiviral drugs.