The NHS is offering new antibody and antiviral treatments to people with coronavirus (COVID-19) who are at highest risk of becoming seriously ill.
From 10 February 2022, eligible people can use a positive lateral flow test (LFT) to be referred for treatment. It is important that treatment starts within 5 days of a positive test.
Most people who have conditions that put them in the highest risk category will have been contacted directly with information about how to get these treatments if needed.
Treatments for COVID-19 are for people aged 12 and over who:
- are at highest risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
- have symptoms of COVID-19 that started within the last 5 days
- have tested positive for COVID-19 by PCR or LFT within the last 5 days
If you think you, or someone you care for, is eligible for these treatments you can contact your GP surgery, when you have a positive test, and request a referral to the assessment unit.
It depends what other medication people are taking whether they can have the treatment, so all patients must be clinically assessed.
If your GP surgery uses eConsult you can use the template referral request text provided on this page (box on the right or below depending on what device you are on).
You should make sure you have a stock of Lateral Flow Tests, and test at the first sign of symptoms. Order test kits online or call 119.
You may be at highest risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 if you have:
- Down's syndrome
- sickle cell disease
- HIV or AIDS
- chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 4 or 5
- certain types of cancer
- had certain types of chemotherapy in the last 12 months
- had radiotherapy in the last 6 months
- had an organ transplant
- a severe liver condition (such as cirrhosis)
- a rare condition affecting the brain or nerves (multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Huntington’s disease or myasthenia gravis)
- certain autoimmune or inflammatory conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease)
- a condition or treatment that makes you more likely to get infections
Antiviral medicines are also available through a national study, run by the University of Oxford. This is separate from the service above. It is not a guarantee that you would recieve the treatment, but the research team are actively looking for people to take part.
The study is open to people in the UK who:
- have tested positive for COVID-19 using a PCR test
- have COVID-19 symptoms that started within the last 5 days
- are aged 50 and over, or are aged 18 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.
If you take part in the study you may be randomly selected to receive the antiviral medicine. Find our more about the Panoramic trial on their website