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Global Times

Anti-COVID drug Paxlovid available at some community clinics in Beijing

Global Times

By Global Times Published: Dec 30, 2022 01:10 AM

Pfizer's COVID-19 treatment drug Paxlovid has become available at some community health centers in Beijing, but is currently only offered to the elderly with critical underlying conditions, media learned from some of the local community clinics.

Paxlovid has already arrived at the storehouse but only for a targeted group, a staffer from a community health center in Beijing's Fengtai district on Thursday told Economic View, financial media hosted by China News Service.

The staffer said Paxlovid prescription requires proof that patients with novel coronavirus pneumonia were diagnosed within 5 days by a hospital at or above secondary level within a week, and the patient must be above 65 years old, who has underlying disease and immune deficiency, or has not got vaccination against COVID-19.

Then the patients can come to the community clinic with the CT scan, previous medical records and specific COVID-19 diagnosis, said the staffer. "If the patient cannot come, we'll check his or her status through video link and have a talk."

Another staffer from a community clinic in Xicheng district explained similar prescription requirements, saying one person can only buy one box of Paxlovid at the price of 1,890 yuan (roughly $271), which is fully or partly covered by the country's medical insurance.

The Global Times on Monday learned from an online training session for doctors and nursing staff about how to direct patients to use Paxlovid that Beijing plans to distribute to community health centers in a bid to help treatment of key populations as the city's peak caseload approaches.

The drug reserve will be allocated to community health centers based on the number of key populations, and about 420,000 residents in Beijing are designated as key populations, said a Beijing health official during a training session, urging the community health centers to strictly follow the usage of the drug and prevent any illegal usage.

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