COVID-19 and influenza continue to co-circulate in the community. It is important to protect those at higher risk of severe disease, including residents of residential aged care facilities (RACFs).

NSW Health is working with general practitioners (GPs) and aged care providers to make sure residents have a plan in place in case they develop symptoms of COVID-19 or influenza; including a plan for testing and a discussion about antiviral medicines.

A Pre-assessment action plan for respiratory infections in aged care facility residents is available to facilitate timely access of antiviral medicines for residents should they test positive to COVID-19, or test positive or be exposed to influenza.

Antiviral medicines for COVID-19 and influenza

The administration of antiviral medicine soon after symptom onset for people with COVID-19 or influenza can reduce disease severity.

  • Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid™) and Molnupiravir (Lagevrio®) can be used in people with confirmed COVID-19 in the community (including in RACFs) who meet the eligibility criteria. The drug should be commenced as early as possible but no later than day 5 after symptom onset.
  • Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) can be used in residents with confirmed influenza or for prophylactic use in exposed residents during influenza outbreaks in RACFs. Additionally, the administration of influenza antiviral medicines to residents of RACFs after exposure to influenza can assist in controlling the outbreak.

Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir and molnupiravir are available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for residents of RACFs through community pharmacies for treatment of COVID-19. Oseltamivir is available as outlined below or on private prescription.

Accessing influenza antiviral treatment 

Facilities can order Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) directly from the State Vaccine Centre by completing the online RACF influenza antiviral treatment access form.

Once the form is complete, the request will go to the NSW vaccine distribution warehouse to be filled and distributed. Facilities can only order up to 250 doses of oseltamivir using this form. For orders over 250 doses, facilities will need to contact their local public health unit on 1300 066 055.


These resources have been developed to guide discussions between residents and their families with their GP regarding the use of antiviral medicines:

For additional information on holding antivirals at residential facilities, see the Requirements for residential care facilities (RCFs) under the NSW Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Legislation.

Current as at: Friday 15 September 2023
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW