Forest Heights Pharmacy in Statesboro is receiving initial doses of the COVID-19 oral treatments.

In a press release on Thursday, December 30, 2021 the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) announced the allocation of Merck and Pfizer oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19 to select retail pharmacies in Georgia.

The only pharmacy in Statesboro to receive the initial doses of the new COVID-19 oral antiviral treatments is Forest Heights Pharmacy located at 4439 Country Club Road in Statesboro. Forest Heights Pharmacy is affiliated with the Good Neighbor Pharmacy Group which has received the allocation of the oral COVID treatment.

Ben Ross, Forest Heights Pharmacy
Ben Ross, Owner Forest Heights Pharmacy Credit: FHP

Ben Ross owner of Forest Heights pharmacy expects to be receiving the medication on Tuesday, January 4, 2022. Ross said you will need a prescription from a doctor to receive the medication. He also believes that the cost of the medication will be covered by insurance or the state of Georgia for those without insurance with no out of pocket cost. However this announcement came quickly and all of the guidance has not been issued to the pharmacies at this time.

Limited Initial Supply

Initial supply of Molnupiravir and Paxlovid™from the federal government is very limited. DPH anticipates additional allocations in the coming weeks as production increases.

Per guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), initial allocations were made to federal pharmacy partners. DPH has partnered with some Walmart, Walgreens, and Good Neighbor Pharmacy Group (a group of small independent pharmacies) to ensure coverage across the state.

Below is a map and list of pharmacies receiving the initial supply.

FDA Emergency Use Authorization

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization for molnupirvar by Merck and an emergency use authorization for Paxlovid™ by Pfizer as oral antiviral treatments of COVID-19. Early studies indicate these treatments may reduce severe outcomes from COVID-19 including hospitalization or death. The antivirals are recommended for treatment of individuals who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 or have underlying medical conditions. Both drugs require a prescription and should be initiated as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of symptom onset. 

Vaccines remains best prevention

While antivirals may help treat COVID-19, vaccination is the best prevention against COVID infection. Georgians aged 5 and older are eligible for vaccination. Georgians 16 and older are eligible for boosters six months after completing their primary vaccine series of either Moderna or Pfizer (only Pfizer is authorized for booster doses in 16- and 17- year-olds) and two months after their J&J vaccine. To find a COVID vaccination location, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine.

Basic prevention measures should also be followed to help prevent further spread of COVID and mitigate outbreaks of infection, especially in public settings: wear a mask, physically distance, and wash your hands frequently with soap and water.

Herschel DeWayne Grice is the founder of Grice Connect an online news and information company in Statesboro, Georgia. DeWayne has been active in the media for over three decades. He brings a unique insight...