It is expected that COVID-19 positive cases will continue to increase in the lead up to Christmas.

The main treatments that people with Covid-19 can have at home are Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir with ritonavir) or molnupiravir (marketed as Lagevrio). They’re given as pills or capsules. Since 28 July, Paxlovid and molnupiravir have been available to some groups of at-risk people without a doctor’s prescription.

Other drugs, including remdesivir, which is given by intravenous infusion, are available at hospitals.

Who can get them?

People considered to be at higher risk of severe illness and hospitalisation are the top priority.  As of 14 September, the following groups may be eligible for publicly-funded Paxlovid and molnupiravir, as long as they have Covid-19 and their symptoms started within the last five days:

  • Maori or Pacific people aged 50 years or older
  • Anyone aged 65 years or older
  • Anyone aged 50 years or older who has had fewer than two Covid-19 vaccinations
  • Other people with at least one of the following: a severely weakened immune system; Down syndrome; sickle cell disease; a previous admission to critical care or high dependency care because of Covid-19; three or more high risk medical conditions.

Some pharmacies can give you FREE COVID-19 antivirals without a prescription. They will do a health check to see if they are right for you:

Pharmacies where you do not need a prescription | Healthpoint

Pharmacies where you need a prescription | Healthpoint

Other healthcare support and services include:

  • Healthpoint
  • Covid line: 0800 358 5453
  • Healthline: 0800 611 116
  • Plunket line: 0800 933 922
  • Health Navigator is a reliable and trustworthy health information and self-care resources.