Hudson Valley encouraged by White House’s ‘Test to Treat’ for COVID-19
People across the Hudson Valley are encouraged by a new federal plan to test and treat COVID-19.
The plan called “Test to Treat” was announced during President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday and basically involves being able to come to your local pharmacy, test for COVID-19, and if you test positive, get free antiviral medication right on the spot.
This comes as production of Rockland County based Pfizer's antiviral pill called Paxlovid is ramping up this month after studies showed the medication can reduce hospitalizations by up to 90%.
The “Test and Treat” program is part of a larger 96 page federal COVID response that involves educating the public about the availability of new antiviral treatments.
One local pharmacist says that's an important component to the plan. "The only thing I would have to worry about is them taking the pills when they get home," says Bill Stroud.
The antiviral pills made by Pfizer have been extremely hard to get but White House officials say Pfizer is working overtime to roll out at least one million pills this month and more than double that next month.
"We've put in numerous requests. My wholesalers, which are the two largest wholesalers in America, they don't even have it to send to me," says Greenleaf Pharmacy supervising pharmacist Bill Stroud.
Officials from pharmacy chains such as Walgreens and CVS say they are on board with the test and treat plan but that it will be a while before they can roll it out in their stores.