New York will prioritize non-White, Hispanic, and Latino people in distributing COVID-19 treatments due to the short supply.

Last week, the New York Department of Health released a plan to distribute antiviral and monoclonal antibody treatment products, including Paxlovid from Pfizer and molnupiravir from Merck.
Due to the low supply, the department issued a list of eligible patients who could receive the antiviral pills.

The department said that the antiviral treatment is authorized for the patients who meet all the following criteria:

–Age 12 years and older weighing at least 88 pounds for Paxlovid, or 18 years and older for molnupiravir.

–Test positive for COVID-19 on a nucleic acid amplification test or antigen test; results from a Food and drug Administration—authorized home-test kits should be validated through video or photo but, if not possible, patient attestation is adequate.

–Have mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, and the patient cannot be hospitalized due to severe or critical COVID-19.

–Able to start treatment within five days of symptom onset.

–Have a medical condition or other factors that increase their risk for severe illness.

The department detailed such health risk factors as “non-white” or “Hispanic/Latino.”

“Non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity should be considered a risk factor, as longstanding systemic health and social inequities have contributed to an increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19,” the document reads.

The health department said that more patients would be added when supplies increase.

Their plan received backlash online for discrimination.

Also, the plan to distribute COVID-19 treatments faced backlash after the state said it would prioritize non-White people due to the short supply.

“There’s a word for discrimination by skin color in medical treatment,” a commentator said.

New York released the plan as the state witnessed a record number of COVID-19 cases.

More than 57,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the state on the first day of 2022, bringing the total to 3.56 million people, data from New York Times shows.

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