Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) officials this week announced they are allocating Merck and Pfizer oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19 to select retail pharmacies throughout the state.
“Initial supply of Molnupiravir and PaxlovidTM from the federal government is very limited. DPH anticipates additional allocations in the coming weeks as production increases,” according to a DPH press release.
“Per guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), initial allocations were made to federal pharmacy partners. DPH has partnered with Walmart, Walgreens, and Good Neighbor Pharmacy Group (a group of small independent pharmacies) to ensure coverage across the state. Pharmacies currently allocated treatments can be found on the DPH website.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization for molnupirvar by Merck and an emergency use authorization for PaxlovidTM by Pfizer as oral antiviral treatments of COVID-19.
The DPH press release said nothing about Comirnaty, which is the FDA’s fully approved COVID-19 vaccine, manufactured by Pfizer.
A DPH official said this month that her agency currently does not offer the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) fully approved COVID-19 vaccine, which the manufacturer, Pfizer, calls Comirnaty.
“Comirnaty has only recently become available, and DPH and its enrolled vaccine providers currently are using on hand inventory of Pfizer COVID vaccine,” said DPH spokeswoman Nancy Nydam, earlier this month.
Nydam told The Georgia Star News that the federal government allots doses of the Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer vaccines for COVID-19.
“Providers place orders for vaccine based on their use and current inventory,” Nydam said.
The FDA first approved Comirnaty in August, according to that agency’s website.
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is authorized for emergency use and is available under the Emergency Use Authorization. The vaccine is a two-dose primary series for individuals 5 years of age and older, as a third primary series dose for individuals 12 years of age and older who have been determined to have certain kinds of immunocompromise, and as a single booster dose for individuals 16 years of age and older at least six months after completing a primary series of the vaccine.
Whether Pfizer distributes Comirnaty is unknown, but the company told The Ohio Star this month that it is still shipping the EUA version of the vaccine.
Though Pfizer says the vaccines are interchangeable, the FDA concedes that the products are “legally distinct.”
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