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 for if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 or influenza; including a plan for testing and a discussion about antiviral medicines.
An Antiviral pre-assessment form for 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.
The administration of antiviral medicine soon after symptom onset for people with COVID-19 or influenza can reduce disease severity.
Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir and molnupiravir are available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for residents of RACF through community pharmacies for treatment of COVID-19. Oseltamivir is available on private prescription, and through Public Health Units for RAFCs in outbreak.
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.