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Ontario’s top doctor says the province is considering allowing pharmacists to prescribe the COVID-19 treatment drug Paxlovid in order to expand access.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore says the health system will see a “triple threat” of COVID-19, a bad flu season and the resurgence of a childhood respiratory virus this fall and winter.

He says finding ways to ensure greater availability of medication to keep people with COVID-19 out of hospital is of particular importance for more rural communities and the government is reviewing it.

Moore says multiple medical officers of health around the province have also raised the issue and he thinks it’s one solution to increasing access.

Justin Bates, CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, says his group has been pushing for pharmacists in the province to be able to prescribe Paxlovid, as colleagues in many other provinces already can.

Paxlovid is an antiviral medication taken orally within five days of symptom onset, recommended for people at high risk of COVID-19 complications.

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