I hope you are well. Here is some new information regarding COVID that you may find useful.
A booster is recommended by the CDC for all patients over age 12 in whom it has been 5 months since the last COVID vaccine. It is recommended that you boost ONLY with either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. This is because the risk of blood clots seems to be worse with the J&J vaccine when compared to the m-RNA vaccines.
A vaccine is now recommended for all children over age 5. COVID is usually mild in young children, but the rationale is that an immunized child will help to protect older family members.
If you are fully vaccinated and are exposed to someone with COVID, you do not need to quarantine according to the CDC, but, you should get tested in 3-5 days to see if you are positive. If you are symptomatic within that time frame, it is recommended that you be tested.
In late December, the FDA granted emergency use authorizations for a pair of antiviral medications for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19:
Molnupiravir, manufactured by Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., and Paxlovid, manufactured by Pfizer Inc.
Molnupiravir is authorized for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection, are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, and for whom alternative COVID-19 treatment options authorized by the FDA are not accessible or clinically appropriate. It should be taken as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of symptom onset, and is administered via four 200-milligram capsules taken orally every 12 hours for five days, for a total of 40 capsules. It is not recommended for individuals who are pregnant.
Molnupiravir is not authorized for use in patients younger than 18 years, as it may affect bone and cartilage growth. In addition, it is not authorized for the pre-exposure or post-exposure prevention of COVID-19, or for initiation of treatment in patients hospitalized due to COVID-19.
Paxlovid is authorized for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults, as well as in children age 12 years or older who weigh at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds), who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19. Like molnupiravir, it should be taken as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of symptom onset. It is administered as three tablets (two tablets of nirmatrelvir and one tablet of ritonavir) taken together orally twice a day for five days, for a total of 30 tablets.
Paxlovid is not authorized for the pre-exposure or post-exposure prevention of COVID-19, or for initiation of treatment in those who require hospitalization due to severe COVID-19. In addition, Paxlovid is not authorized for use for longer than five consecutive days. There are numerous drug interactions that may alter the dosing or use of this antiviral.
Updated NCH COVID information page: https://nchmd.org/news-and-events/newsroom/coronavirus
Paul Jones MD