Treatment

Information for Manitobans

Treatment for COVID-19

 

There are two types of treatments available for COVID-19. The first type is a preventative treatment that is given before any known exposure to COVID-19 to prevent illness. The second type is provided after individuals become sick with COVID-19 to prevent serious illness.

 

COVID-19 treatment is not a substitute for vaccination. Getting vaccinated is your best defense against the virus.

 

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Preventative Treatment

 

Preventative treatment (also called pre-exposure prophylaxis) is meant to be given before any known exposure to COVID-19 to help prevent COVID-19 illness. The preventative treatment currently available is Tixagevimab/Cilgavimab (Evusheld).

Evusheld is a drug that contains two types of monoclonal antibodies, tixagevimab and cilgavimab. The drug gives you temporary antibodies that prevent the virus from infecting healthy cells in your body. This may help prevent COVID-19 illness. Evusheld is delivered through intramuscular injections.

Adults and children (12 years of age and older, weighing at least 40 kg) may be eligible for preventative treatment if they are:

If you meet these eligibility criteria, talk with your health care provider to see if preventative treatment is appropriate for you. If you are eligible, there is no cost to you.

 

Preventative treatment is not a substitute for vaccination. Getting vaccinated is your best defense against the virus.

 


Treatment for adults with COVID-19


Adults may be eligible for COVID-19 treatment if you:

You may be considered at higher risk of severe outcomes if you:

Depending on your age and health status, you may still be considered at higher risk of developing severe outcomes - even if you have received all of the COVID-19 vaccine doses that you are eligible for.

If you are 18 or older and meet these eligibility criteria, talk with your health care provider or call Health Links - Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free) to see if COVID-19 treatment is right for you.

Different treatments must be given within either 5 or 7 days of symptom onset, so you must seek treatment quickly to be eligible.


NEW: To improve access, one of the treatments (Paxlovid) will be available at 175+ pharmacies across Manitoba with a prescription. Use this list to find a location near you.


COVID-19 treatment is not a substitute for vaccination. Getting vaccinated is your best defense against the virus.

 


Treatment for youth/children with COVID-19


People younger than 18 may qualify for COVID-19 treatment if they have symptoms that began within the previous 5 to 7 days, have tested positive for COVID-19, and meet the criteria in one of these two categories.


Category 1


Category 2


COVID-19 treatment is not a substitute for vaccination. Getting vaccinated is your best defense against the virus.



Questions and answers


If your self-administered rapid antigen test is positive, you have symptoms that started in the last five to seven days, and you are at higher risk of developing severe outcomes, contact your health care provider or Health Links - Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free). Your health-care provider will determine if another test is required.


If you are 18 years or older, meet the eligibility criteria and are at a higher risk of developing severe outcomes, contact your health-care provider or Health Links - Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257. Your health-care provider will determine if COVID-19 treatment is right for you. You must seek treatment within the specified timeframe. Different treatments must be given within 5 to 7 days of symptom onset.

If you are under 18 years old and you meet the eligibility criteria, contact your health care provider, pediatrician or pediatric subspecialist. They will determine if COVID-19 treatment is right for you. You must seek treatment within the specified timeframe. Different treatments must be given within 5 to 7 days of symptom onset.

If you have a health condition and you are uncertain if you qualify, speak with your health care provider about whether COVID-19 treatment is right for you.


All COVID-19 treatments are available at no cost to people in Manitoba, including prescriptions for Paxlovid that are filled at a pharmacy. Manitoba Health coverage is not required and no deductibles apply.


COVID-19 illnesses range from very mild to severe, including illness resulting in death. People of all ages with severe chronic medical conditions like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and other conditions including obesity, can be at higher risk of being hospitalized for COVID-19. Older age, with or without other conditions, also places people at higher risk of being hospitalized for COVID-19.

When given in the early phase of COVID-19 infection, treatment has been shown to prevent hospitalization or death due to COVID-19.


COVID-19 treatment can provide further protection for people at higher risk of developing severe outcomes. There are currently two types of treatments available:

  • antiviral treatment
  • monoclonal antibody treatment

The treatments for COVID-19 listed on this web page have received interim approval by Health Canada for early treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 illness in people at risk of becoming severely ill. Your health-care provider or the prescribing clinician will let you know what your treatment options are at the time of your visit.


COVID-19 treatment can provide further protection for children at higher risk of developing severe outcomes. Your pediatrician, pediatric subspecialist or the prescribing clinician will let you know what your treatment options are at the time of your visit.


When a virus causes infection, one thing it does is make copies of itself. This is an important part of what a virus needs to do to cause illness. Antiviral treatment stops the COVID-19 virus from copying itself, which helps prevent severe illness and may help you get better faster. Depending on the treatment, it must be started within 5 to 7 days of symptom onset.

Current antiviral treatments:


Antibodies are used by your immune system to fight off foreign substances. Monoclonal antibody treatment uses laboratory-made proteins, or antibodies, to give an initial immune response that may prevent serious illness. Monoclonal antibodies give your body temporary antibodies faster than your body can make them.

Monoclonal antibody treatment can only be given to you once. It is delivered intravenously (using a needle into your vein). The antibodies attach to the spike protein of the coronavirus and keep the virus from entering and infecting healthy cells within your body to prevent COVID-19 symptoms from getting worse. This treatment must be started within 7 days of symptom onset.

Current monoclonal antibody treatment:


Your health-care provider will review your situation. Their review will include your medical history, current medications and when your symptoms started to determine if you are eligible for treatment. If you are eligible for treatment, they will let you know which treatment option is recommended for you.


Becoming infected with COVID-19 and receiving COVID-19 treatment does not offer the same protection as vaccination, because it is possible to become re-infected. Getting vaccinated is your best defense against the virus.

If you receive antiviral treatment, you must wait until you have competed your treatment, your COVID-19 symptoms are gone and your period of isolation is over.

If you receive monoclonal antibody treatment, you must wait 90 days after your treatment to be vaccinated because the antibodies in the treatment may also prevent your immune system from responding to the vaccine. Find a vaccination clinic near you to book an appointment.


Effective May 20, 2022, over 175 community pharmacies throughout the province can fill Paxlovid prescriptions. To see the complete list of participating pharmacies, please visit: https://gov.mb.ca/covid19/treatment/paxlovid-locations.html.


After you receive COVID-19 treatment, continue following the isolation recommendations. Treatment does not shorten your isolation time. For more information on isolation, visit: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/updates/resources.html#factsheets to view the COVID-19 Factsheet.


Call Health Links - Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free) or your health-care provider if you have questions or concerns.

Call 911 immediately if you experience severe symptoms of COVID-19, such as:

  • difficulty breathing
  • severe chest pain
  • feelings of confusion
  • loss of consciousness.

Health care providers can visit https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/treatment/ for up to date information including treatment recommendations.



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