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Ontario looking to expand distribution points for COVID-19 antiviral drug, Elliott says

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WATCH: Ontario government urged to increase speed and accessibility of COVID-19 antiviral treatments – Apr 6, 2022

Ontario’s health minister says the province is looking to add distribution points for an antiviral COVID-19 drug.

Immunocompromised adults and older COVID-19 patients who are unvaccinated are eligible to receive Paxlovid but concerns have been raised about difficulty accessing the drug.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says Paxlovid was initially distributed through 26 sites and the province intends to distribute it from more locations now that supply has increased.

She says pharmacies may be involved in the rollout of the drug at some point, along with other potential sites.

Read more: No need to reimpose mask mandate despite increasing COVID figures: Ontario health minister

Elliott says the province is also planning to expand its education program about the drug so individuals may learn that they are eligible.

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Her comments came as Ontario reported 1,091 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Tuesday, nearly 40 per cent higher than a week ago.

There were 790 people in hospital with COVID-19 last Tuesday.

The province also reported 173 COVID-19 patients in intensive care today, compared with 165 a week ago.

There were six new COVID-19 deaths logged today and three that the province says occurred more than a week ago have been added to the total count.

Read more: Ontario to soon offer 4th COVID-19 vaccine doses to those aged 60+: health minister

Ontario reported 1,991 new infections, though the province’s top doctor has said the number is likely 10 times higher since access to PCR tests is limited.

Eighteen per cent of COVID-19 tests conducted in the last day came back positive, down slightly from Monday’s positivity rate of 19 per cent.

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