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Antiviral COVID pills heading to Yolo County pharmacies

The initial rollout will be very limited with only two pharmacies in the county having the pills.

YOLO COUNTY, Calif. — Two pharmacies will be among the first in Yolo County to carry antiviral pills to combat COVID-19.

The two pills were approved last week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help patients at high risk to severe COVID-19 outcomes.

Merck's molnupiravir and Pfizer's Paxlovid are expected to be available soon in Yolo County. The pills will be available by prescription at only two local pharmacies and are meant to be taken soon as possible after a COVID diagnosis.

Yolo County officials said initial availability will be limited, with 140 courses of molnupiravir and 20 courses of Paxlovid. A Woodland Rite Aid on West Main Street will have both pills and Winters Healthcare will have molnupiravir. 

Shipments are expected to increase over time along with the number of pharmacies that will have it available. 

"With the Omicron variant causing a rapid spread of COVID-19 cases in Yolo County, these new antiviral pills come at a critical time,” said Yolo County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson. “However, the limited quantities available initially mean they won’t be available to everyone who gets infected. These first doses will be prioritized for those at highest risk of severe disease. Please continue to take steps to avoid infection in the first place and don’t count on an antiviral pill being available if you get infected in the next few weeks.”

Dr. Sisson also urged people to get vaccinated, wear a mask, get tested and stay home if sick.

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