Treatment of COVID-19

Most people with mild illness will recover without treatment.2 However, some over-the-counter medications may be used to help provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19.1,2 Consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any new over-the-counter products, especially if you have underlying health conditions.

Drug treatments for COVID-19 are currently being developed and tested. In July 2020, Health Canada approved remdesivir (Veklury®) to treat severe COVID-19 symptoms in adults and adolescents 12 years of age and older, who weigh at least 40 kg.5

In November 2020, Health Canada approved another medication called bamlanivimab to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms. This medication can be used for adults and youth 12 years of age or older, who weigh at least 40 kg and are at high risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 symptoms or hospitalization.

In December 2020, Health Canada approved 2 COVID-19 vaccines: the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Both vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA) technology to stimulate an immune response by producing antibodies.

Health Canada approved the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in February 2021, and the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine in March 2021. Unlike the first 2 vaccines, they are adenovirus-vectored vaccines, which use a modified version of a common cold virus to produce antibodies. Like the mRNA vaccines, the AstraZeneca vaccine requires 2 doses for maximum protection, whereas the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine requires only one dose.

There are other vaccines currently under review by Health Canada. If you're interested in getting the vaccine, contact your health care provider or local public health unit for more information.

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