Health and Human Services Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (HHSIEA)

November 1, 2022

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Outpatient Treatment of COVID-19:

CDC published an MMWR on racial and ethnic disparities in outpatient treatment of COVID-19 in the United States from January to July, 2022. Outpatient medications are effective at preventing severe COVID-19 and are important to pandemic mitigation. Paxlovid is the most commonly prescribed medication and the preferred outpatient therapeutic for eligible patients. Racial and ethnic disparities persisted in outpatient COVID-19 treatment through July 2022. During April–July 2022, the percentage of COVID-19 patients aged ≥20 years treated with Paxlovid was 36% and 30% lower among Black and Hispanic patients than among White and non-Hispanic patients, respectively. These disparities existed among all age groups and patients with immunocompromise. Expansion of programs to increase awareness of and access to available outpatient COVID-19 treatments can help protect persons at high risk for severe illness and facilitate equitable health outcomes.