National Antiviral Service Cymru (NAVS)
The National Antiviral Service Cymru (NAVS) is co-ordinating the supply of treatments for COVID-19 for the most vulnerable individuals across Wales who have not been admitted to hospital.
Healthcare professionals can access further information via the NAVS healthcare professionals site.
COVID-19 treatment for people in the community
Treatment for COVID-19 is available for people who are not in hospital but who are considered at highest risk of becoming severely ill and being admitted to hospital. It is recommended that these treatments are started within 5 days of your symptoms starting to be of most benefit.
In Wales, access to these treatments is co-ordinated by NAVS which operates from the Welsh Medicines Advice Service in Cardiff.
Who is eligible to receive these treatments?
Treatment for COVID-19 is available for citizens who are not in hospital but who are considered at highest risk of becoming severely ill and being admitted to hospital. This will include some people, but not everyone who was advised to shield during the pandemic. Some people who were previously shielding now have a much lower risk of severe disease following COVID-19 vaccination.
Citizens who may be eligible for one of these treatments if they test positive for COVID-19 should have received a letter in February from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales. These individuals will usually be contacted within 48 hours of a positive PCR test or Lateral Flow Test (LFT) that has been reported at https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.
The highest risk group includes people who have:
- Down’s syndrome
- a rare condition affecting the brain or nerves (including multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Huntington’s disease or myasthenia gravis)
- sickle cell disease
- certain types of cancer
- HIV or AIDS
- a severe liver condition (such as cirrhosis)
- chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 4 or 5
- had an organ transplant
- 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
- had certain types of chemotherapy in the last 12 months
- had radiotherapy in the last 6 months
If you haven’t received a letter you may still be eligible for treatment if you are in one of the highest risk groups in this list. Information about how you can be assessed for treatment can be found below.
What treatments are there for COVID-19?
Three options are currently available in Wales for citizens who have not been admitted to hospital:
- Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid®)
- Sotrovimab (Xevudy®)
- Molnupiravir (Lagevrio®)
The choice of which treatment may be best for you will be influenced by factors such as what medical conditions you have and what medicines you currently take. You can discuss these options and which would be best for you when contacted by a member of the NAVS team.
For more information:
- Video on the treatments, produced by Swansea Bay University Health Board – in Welsh or English
- COVID-19 treatments for people in the community – patient information leaflet (Welsh translation available soon)
- Molnupiravir – bilingual pregnancy and side effects patient information leaflet
How will I be contacted?
Your positive COVID-19 test result (PCR or self-reported LFT) will be flagged to NAVS within 24 hours of reporting.
If you have provided a mobile number when registering your result, you will be sent an SMS text message by NAVS asking if you have symptoms and would like to discuss treatment options. You must reply ADVICE to this message to speak to a member of the NAVS team within 48 hours.
If you have only provided a landline number, you will receive a phone call from a member of the NAVS team.
My PCR or LFT result was reported more than 48 hours ago, but I haven’t heard from NAVS – what should I do?
In the first instance you should contact NHS 111. Your GP or your Specialist can also refer you to NAVS.
I’ve already spoken to NAVS, but now feel more unwell – what should I do?
If your symptoms have worsened since you spoke to one of the NAVS team, you need to contact NHS 111, your GP, or your Specialist for advice in case you need medical attention.
How will I get treatment?
If the most appropriate for you is an antiviral medicine (either Paxlovid® or Lagevrio®), it will be delivered directly to you. In most cases, this will be by next day delivery. Deliveries should arrive with you by 2pm the next day.
If your delivery has not arrived in the expected timeframe, please contact NHS 111 who can contact NAVS.
If an antiviral medicine isn’t the most suitable choice for you but you need treatment, NAVS will contact your Health Board to arrange treatment with sotrovimab (Xevudy®). Sotrovimab is given by injection so is usually given at a hospital. Your Health Board will contact you by telephone to make an appointment.
I haven’t had a call from my Health Board about an appointment to receive the injectable treatment option – what should I do?
If you have not heard from your Health Board about your appointment within 24 hours of speaking to NAVS, please contact NHS 111.
I’m not in one of the highest risk groups, but can I still get treatment?
Citizens who are over 50 years of age, or who are aged over 18 years AND have a health condition that increases their risk, may be able to access antiviral treatments through a UK clinical trial called PANORAMIC, in which eligible patients will be randomised to receive an antiviral or standard care.
The trial is co-ordinated by the University of Oxford Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit and is supported by an all-Wales team from Public Health Wales, Health and Care Research Wales and Cardiff Clinical Trials Unit.
Information about the PANORAMIC study can be accessed online at www.panoramictrial.org. Alternatively, you can telephone 08081 560017.