OLDER people continue to be vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19.
It remains very important that they protect themselves from the devastating impacts of COVID-19, say the Minister for Aged Care and the Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer in an open letter.
They point out that, fortunately, there are now effective medications to help those att he greatest risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19.
You may have already had COVID-19. In that case, you may already have taken these medications as tablets or capsules.
Perhaps you have family and friends who have used anti-COVID-19 medication.
Oral antiviral treatments are safe, effective and available to those aged 70 or over who test positive for COVID-19. If you are over 70, testing positive is enough to qualify for anti-viral treatment. You need not have symptoms or other risk factors.
People who are 50 years or older and have two additional risk factors are also eligible.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander over-30 with one risk factor are also eligible for the oral antiviral treatments.
These antiviral treatments are saving lives. Talk to your family and your doctor about your COVID-19 treatment options.
COVID-19 is likely to continue to surge from time to time.
You will need a prescription for the treatments following a positive COVID-19 test.
Planning ahead and talking to your family and doctor to give consent will help to ensure you have rapid access to antiviral treatments. This is important, because these medications must be taken within five days of symptoms starting.
The sooner these treatments can commence, the greater their chance of success in reducing severe illness.
These medications are generally also safe to take again every time you get infected with COVID-19.
But prevention is better than the cure. Wearing masks in crowded indoor spaces is the best way to slow the spread.
Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself from severe illness due to a COVID-19 infection.
It is important to stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations.
Healthcare experts are learning more about COVID-19 every day. They are monitoring the latest research in Australia and internationally.