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What to do if you get COVID


Have you tested positive for COVID?
Text COVID MEDICINE to 310-361-7857 or
Call Harbor NOW at 310-547-0202 to get medication for FREE.*

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When You Get COVID, Harbor Can Help

There’s good news in the fight against COVID-19! Medications are now available that when taken at the first signs of sickness, help you feel better faster. This means getting back to work, and getting teens back to school, days or weeks sooner. And the best news is most of these medications are free! Call Harbor or read on to learn how to shorten your COVID-19 illness.

 Q: What is COVID-19 medication?

There are medications that keep COVID-19 from getting serious. They’re available in pill form or can be taken through an IV. There are two kinds of medication:

  • Antiviral treatments stop COVID-19 from multiplying in your body and infecting more cells. Paxlovid and Lagevrio (molnupiravir) are pills that you can take at home. Remdesivir is usually given by a care provider through IV.
  • Monoclonal antibody treatments help your immune system recognize and respond better to COVID-19. It’s given through IV by a care provider.

Your Harbor care provider can determine which medication is right for you.

Q: Why should I get COVID-19 medication?

The medication prevents serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 by up to 88%. People who take Paxlovid, for example, are up to eight times less likely to be hospitalized. They’re also ten times less likely to die from the virus. Medication may also lower the risk of long-COVID symptoms. Medications like the Paxlovid pill can help you test negative sooner.

Q: Are there any side effects of COVID-19 medication?

Most people experience no side effects. The most prescribed medication is Paxlovid, which has mild side effects like nausea or a bitter taste.

Q: Who should get COVID-19 medication?

If you are twelve years of age or older, have COVID-19 symptoms, and have tested positive for COVID-19, the medication is recommended for you. It’s even more important if you’re at higher risk for more severe COVID-19 illness because one of these traits applies to you:

  • You are 50 years of age or older
  • You are unvaccinated
  • You struggle with obesity
  • Your level of physical activity is low
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You smoke
  • You have asthma
  • You have diabetes
  • You struggle with mental health conditions like depression

Most American adults are eligible for Covid-19 medication and should use it when they are sick.

Q: When should I get COVID-19 medication?

As soon as you feel sick, get tested for Covid-19. Medication must be taken (at most) within 5-7 days of your first symptoms.  The sooner you start the medication, however, the more effectively it will work and the better you’ll feel.

Q: How will I pay for COVID-19 medication?

*You don’t – it’s free! (COVID-19 pills are free; IV medication may come with a charge.) All providers who receive Paxlovid or Lagevrio (molnupiravir) from the federal government signed an agreement not to charge patients for the medication. If you or someone you know is charged for Covid-19 pills, call the statewide COVID-19 hotline at 833-422-4255.

Q: How do I get COVID-19 medication?

A care provider at Harbor can prescribe medication for you, either in person or through a telehealth appointment. And Harbor will accept at-home test results, so that sick people don’t need to come in. You can also visit another Test-to-Treat location near you. To find a site, call the statewide COVID-19 hotline at 833-422-4255. You do not need insurance or to be a U.S. citizen to get COVID-19 medication.

If you or a family member tests positive for COVID-19, call Harbor at 310-547-0202 right away to start feeling better – for free!

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