The country has secured 1 million treatments in total.
Health Canada has recently approved the use of Pfizer's COVID-19 antiviral treatment PAXLOVID, and Justin Trudeau says 30,000 of the 1 million treatment courses Canada has secured have already arrived in the country.
The prime minister also revealed that Canada would be receiving at least 120,000 more of the PAXLOVID treatments by March, meaning the country still has another 850,000 to come.
Update: @GovCanHealth has approved Paxlovid, Pfizer\u2019s antiviral treatment for COVID-19. We\u2019ve secured 1 million treatment courses \u2013 more than 30,000 have already arrived, and we\u2019re getting at least 120,000 more before the end of March.— Justin Trudeau (@Justin Trudeau) 1642456001
On Monday, January 17, Health Canada announced that PAXLOVID had officially been authorized for use across Canada.
It's intended to treat adults with "mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of progressing to serious disease, including hospitalization or death."
The agency tweeted that with the arrival of the treatments on Saturday and everything properly authorized, distribution to the provinces and territories is set to begin "immediately."
The image below shows Canada border services officers receiving the treatments that will eventually make their way into the homes of Canadians.
Canada received its first shipment of PAXLOVID to treat 30,000 people this Saturday. With PAXLOVID now authorized, distribution to provinces and territories will begin immediately. http://ow.ly/vfJW50HwpJw\u00a0pic.twitter.com/ly3EaxMtdO— Health Canada and PHAC (@Health Canada and PHAC) 1642458603
PAXLOVID is the first COVID-19 therapy available to be taken from home, according to Health Canada, as all of the other authorized medications are meant to be taken in a hospital setting.
"The drug is intended for use as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of the start of symptoms," says the statement from the agency.
"The treatment consists of two tablets of nirmatrelvir and one tablet of ritonavir taken together by mouth twice per day for five days."
Although the benefits of taking the treatment outweigh the risks it may present, Health Canada does warn that it can cause interactions with other medications for some and that patients should discuss all of their options with their healthcare provider.
"No drug, including PAXLOVID™, is a substitute for vaccination," it adds. "Vaccination remains the most important tool in preventing serious illness from COVID-19 infection."