COVID-19 Therapeutics

Medication to Prevent COVID-19 Before Exposure

Call your healthcare provider and ask about taking medication to prevent COVID-19 before you are exposed to it if you:

This long-acting, doctor-recommended medication is a new COVID-19 prevention option. It helps protect certain people with compromised immune systems who may not get enough immune response from a COVID-19 vaccine because of medical conditions.

Taking medication to prevent COVID-19 before exposure does not take the place of vaccination in people for whom COVID-19 vaccination is recommended. The best way to prevent COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. People who take this medication should still get vaccinated. For people who cannot get vaccinated or may not get enough immune response to the vaccine, this medication offers added protection against COVID-19.

Ask your healthcare provider if you are eligible for medication to prevent COVID-19 before exposure.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is this medication to prevent COVID-19?

Antibodies are proteins that people's bodies make to fight viruses, such as the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies made in a laboratory act a lot like natural antibodies to limit the amount of virus in your body. They are called monoclonal antibodies (MABS).

EVUSHELD is a long-acting MABS (LA-MABS) medication given as two shots to help prevent you from getting COVID-19. It may protect you for six months.

Who can get long-acting monoclonal antibodies (LA-MABS) to prevent COVID-19?

EVUSHELD is a pre-exposure preventive medication for people who:

  • Are age 12 and older and weigh at least 88 pounds, AND 
  • Are not currently infected with COVID-19 and have not been recently exposed to someone infected with COVID-19, AND 
  • Did not get a COVID-19 vaccine less than two weeks ago, AND
  • Have moderately to severely compromised immune systems due to a medical condition or due to taking immunosuppressive medications or treatments that may prevent an adequate immune response to COVID-19 vaccination, OR 
  • Cannot get vaccinated because they’ve had a severe adverse reaction to COVID-19 vaccines in the past.

 

Can I get this medication while pregnant or breastfeeding?

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk with their healthcare provider.

 

Who should not get LA-MABS to prevent COVID-19?

You should not get this preventive medication if you:

  • Recently tested positive for COVID-19, OR
  • Were recently exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, OR
  • Got a COVID-19 vaccine less than two weeks ago

What are the side effects of getting medication to prevent COVID-19?

Clinical studies are ongoing to evaluate the usefulness and safety of using long-acting monoclonal antibodies (LA-MABS) to prevent COVID-19.

EVUSHELD Fact Sheet for Patients, Parents, and Caregivers

How is this medication given?

EVUSHELD is given as two separate shots into a muscle, one right after the other. It reduces your chance of getting COVID-19 for six months.

 

Where can I get this medication?

Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you should get medication to prevent COVID-19 and to find out how to get them.  

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine after I’ve had this medication?

Yes. You can get vaccinated after getting this medication. 

 

Can getting this medication replace vaccination?

Getting LA-MABS to prevent COVID-19 should not replace COVID-19 vaccination if you are eligible to get vaccinated. People who get LA-MABS should still get vaccinated.

This medication offers added protection for people who cannot get vaccinated because they’ve had a severe adverse reaction to COVID-19 vaccines in the past.

 

Can I get this medication after I’ve gotten any COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. You can get this medication two weeks or more after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Treatment When You Have COVID-19

If you test positive for COVID-19, are age 12 or older, and have mild to moderate symptomscall your healthcare provider right away and ask about treatment for COVID-19.

  • These doctor-recommended treatments for COVID-19 can keep you from getting sicker and being hospitalized.
  • Treatment is most important if you are at high risk of becoming very sick from COVID-19.
  • The earlier you start treatment after your symptoms start the more effective it is, so get tested as soon as you have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Treatment will help you protect your household from COVID-19.
  • You can get one of two treatment types:
    • Monoclonal antibodies (MABS)
    • Oral antiviral medications

Treatment with Monoclonal Antibodies (MABS)

If you test positive for COVID-19, are age 12 or older, and started having mild to moderate symptoms in the last seven days, call your healthcare provider right away and ask about treatment with MABS.

  • After completing this simple infusion, many people with COVID-19 start feeling better as early as the next day. This treatment does not require hospitalization.
  • You can get treatment at these infusion sites. Some of these infusion sites can provide treatment in your own home. 

Treatment with Oral Antiviral Medications

If you test positive for COVID-19, are age 12 or older, and started having mild to moderate symptoms in the last five days, call your healthcare provider right away and ask about treatment with oral antiviral medications.

Important Reminders About Picking Up Your Prescription

For the safety of others, it’s best not to enter the store when picking up a prescription to treat COVID-19. Please consider:

  • Contacting the pharmacy ahead of time to confirm your prescription is ready for pick-up.
  • Using the drive-thru lane (e.g. Walgreens and CVS) or curbside pick-up option (e.g. Stop & Shop) to avoid going inside the store.
  • Asking if a staff member can bring your prescription to the front entrance.
  • Asking the pharmacy about other options including same-day delivery.
  • Having a friend or family member pick up your prescription.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between treatment with monoclonal antibodies (MABS) and antivirals?

Antibodies are proteins that people's bodies make to fight viruses, such as the virus that causes COVID-19. MABS are made in a laboratory and act a lot like natural antibodies to limit the amount of virus in your body.

Antivirals are medications that attack the virus and help your body fight off infection.

Who can get treatment when they have COVID-19?

You can get treatment with monoclonal antibodies (MABS) if you test positive for COVID-19, are age 12 or older, and started having mild to moderate symptoms in the last seven days. 

You can get treatment with oral antivirals if you test positive for COVID-19, are age 12 or older, and started having mild to moderate symptoms in the last five days.

Call your healthcare provider right away and ask whether you can and should get treatment for COVID-19.  Treatment is most important if you are at high risk of becoming very sick from COVID-19.

If you don’t have a regular healthcare provider, visit health.ri.gov/find/urgentcare.

If you do not have or have lost your health insurance, learn about accessing healthcare and support services.

 

Can I get treatment for COVID-19 while pregnant or breastfeeding?

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk with their healthcare provider about getting treatment for COVID-19.

 

Who should not get treatment when they have COVID-19?

You should not get oral antiviral treatment if you are hospitalized due to COVID-19.

You should not get MABS treatment if you:

  • Are hospitalized due to COVID-19, OR
  • Need oxygen therapy due to COVID-19, OR
  • Are on chronic oxygen therapy due to underlying conditions not related to COVID-19 and need to increase your baseline oxygen due to COVID-19.

Treatment may make these conditions worse.

 

What if I have COVID-19 and cannot get treatment with MABS or oral antivirals?

Talk to your healthcare provider about other treatments that are right for you.

Does treatment for COVID-19 work?

Clinical trials for treatment with monoclonal antibodies (MABS) and oral antivirals have shown a decrease in hospitalizations and emergency room visits and a decrease in the amount of virus in an infected person's blood. Studies are still ongoing.

MABS

Oral antivirals

 

What are the side effects of treatment for COVID-19?

Clinical studies are ongoing to evaluate the usefulness and safety of treatment for COVID-19 with MABS and oral antivirals. It is possible that not all risks are known yet.

MABS

Oral antivirals

The side effects of getting any medicine by vein, such as MABS, may include brief pain, bleeding, bruising of the skin, soreness, swelling, and possible infection at the infusion site. Rarely, people may have allergic reactions.

How is treatment with monoclonal antibodies (MABS) or oral antivirals given?

Treatment with MABS is given into a vein by intravenous (IV) infusion. MABS may only be given in settings where healthcare providers have immediate access to medications to treat any reactions and where emergency medical systems are available, if needed.

Treatment with oral antivirals is a five-day pill series you can take at home. Your healthcare provider can send your prescription to a pharmacy near you that has oral antivirals.

 

Where can I get treatment?

Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you should get treatment for COVID-19 and where you can get it.

Will my insurance cover treatment for COVID-19?

The cost of treatment with monoclonal antibodies (MABS) when you have COVID-19 is covered for Medicare beneficiaries, but healthcare facilities may charge a fee for to give the treatment. People who don’t receive Medicare should contact their medical insurance provider about treatment costs and should also speak with their healthcare provider who orders the treatment.

Talk to your pharmacist or health insurance about your oral antiviral prescription cost.

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I’ve had treatment for COVID-19?

Yes. You can get vaccinated at any time after getting treatment with MABS or oral antivirals.

 

Can I get treatment after I’ve gotten any COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. If you are vaccinated and get COVID-19, you can get treatment with MABS right away in the first seven days of having mild to moderate symptoms. You can get treatment with oral antivirals any time after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.