COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — It was just a few days ago when Aryeh Alex, the commissioner for Columbus Franklin County Metro Parks, says he felt the oncoming symptoms of COVID.
“I have barely been able to get off my couch, for four days now,” said Alex.
He scheduled a COVID test at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center on Tuesday, and found out later that day he had in fact suffered a breakthrough infection.
“I cannot imagine how terrible this would be if I were not vaccinated,” said Alex.
That’s when he says the medical team at OSU Wexner reached out, informing him he’d met the criteria for Pfizer’s antiviral COVID pill known as paxlovid, due to his compromised immune system and moderate symptoms.
Alex is one of only a few here in Central Ohio, to undergo this treatment.
“We have been using paxlovid, for about 10 days, roughly here at Ohio State,” said Dr. Jonathan Parsons, executive vice chair for the department of Internal Medicine at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Dr. Parsons says due to extremely limited supply, they are only prescribing the Pfizer pill to COVID patients with underlying conditions or severe illness.
“We’re certainly hoping that the supply chain ramps up here in the next few weeks, that we can reach a lot more patients. But right now, we have a pretty strict criteria of who we are able to give this medication too,” said Dr. Parsons.
However, Parsons says it’s possible these pills could become widely available in the coming weeks or months.
But for now, patients like Alex, say he’s glad to be able to take this new treatment, so soon.
“I mean it’s such a limited time window, from when you have symptoms to when you get the medicine. They’re being so quick at analyzing their results, that they were able to get it to me and I’m very grateful,” said Alex.