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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir/PF-07321332 and ritonavir)

ASPR Frequently Asked Questions:


  1. What is an oral antiviral?

Oral antivirals are used to treat chronic or severe viral infections that cannot be eliminated by an individual’s natural immune response. Antivirals can function in a variety of ways to treat a virus, depending on the therapy and virus type.


  1. Who is eligible for this treatment?

The FDA granted EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) for Pfizer’s Paxlovid COVID-19 therapy for adults and children (age 12 years and older weighing at least 40 kg) with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19. The use of Paxlovid is not recommended for patients with severe renal impairment and patients who are below 12 years of age.


  1. Do I need a prescription from a healthcare provider to receive treatment?

Yes; a prescription from a qualified healthcare provider is required to be treated with Paxlovid.


  1. How will the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services determine how much Paxlovid is allocated to state and territorial health departments?

Initial allocations were determined on a pro rata basis (based on adult population) and will be provided to state and territorial health departments for free.

A subset of HHS Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA)-funded health centers across all 50 states will also receive direct product allocation to help increase equitable access to this product in vulnerable and hard-hit communities.


  1. Is Paxlovid available now?

State and territorial health departments can order product through the HHS Health Partners Ordering Portal. Dispensing sites will begin to receive product as early as the first week in January.

  • This page last reviewed: December 23, 2021