A Pfizer COVID-19 Paxlovid pill is seen in an undated handout photo. There’s hope that Health Canada’s approval of Pfizer’s antiviral COVID-19 treatment for COVID-19 will help ease the strain on the country’s healthcare system, as hospitalizations continue their steady climb. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO

A Pfizer COVID-19 Paxlovid pill is seen in an undated handout photo. There’s hope that Health Canada’s approval of Pfizer’s antiviral COVID-19 treatment for COVID-19 will help ease the strain on the country’s healthcare system, as hospitalizations continue their steady climb. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO

Paxlovid to be available at more Alberta pharmacies

The first COVID-19 antiviral treatment that can be taken at home will be more available in Alberta.

The province said Wednesday that about 375 Albertans have received prescriptions for Paxlovid since Jan. 31, when the drug became available in Alberta.

Due to limited supply, Paxlovid was initially available in Alberta at 135 pharmacies. As supply increases, the province is encouraging interested pharmacies in the province to order Paxlovid treatments, improving convenient access to Albertans.

“Having a reliable supply of at-home treatments for COVID-19, such as Paxlovid, is critical to lowering the risk of severe outcomes for those who are unvaccinated or have serious medical conditions. However, the best protection continues to be vaccination,” said Jason Copping, Minister of Health.

“Rather than waiting to need treatment, I continue to encourage Albertans to get ahead of COVID-19 and get vaccinated, including boosters.”

Albertans who meet eligibility criteria must call Health Link at 1-844-343-0971. Health Link staff will ask screening questions to confirm eligibility and arrange for next steps. Paxlovid must be started within five days of the onset of COVID-19 symptoms.

Albertans are asked to not call pharmacies or physician offices directly.