Top 5 Takeaways

  1. Paxlovid, an outpatient antiviral medication, is linked to a 51% reduction in hospitalization rates for COVID-19 among U.S. adults when prescribed within 5 days of diagnosis.
  2. This benefit was observed irrespective of vaccination status or previous infection, emphasizing Paxlovid’s effectiveness across different patient groups.
  3. A large-scale analysis of electronic health records indicated lower hospitalization rates in all age groups, particularly in those aged 50–64 and ≥65 years.
  4. The study used a Cox proportional hazards model, adjusting for various factors, to establish the association between Paxlovid prescription and reduced hospitalization risk.
  5. The findings highlight the importance of Paxlovid prescription for eligible adults to mitigate COVID-19 hospitalization risks, especially for those at higher risk due to age or underlying health conditions.

Original Article Author and Citation

Corresponding Author

Melisa M. Shah,

Suggested Citation

Shah MM, Joyce B, Plumb ID, et al. Paxlovid Associated with Decreased Hospitalization Rate Among Adults with COVID-19 — United States, April–September 2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:1531–1537. DOI:


Nirmatrelvir-ritonavir (Paxlovid) has demonstrated efficacy in reducing hospitalizations among adults diagnosed with COVID-19. This oral antiviral treatment is particularly recommended for those with elevated risk of severe illness. The study analyzed electronic health record data from the Cosmos database, covering a large U.S. population, to evaluate Paxlovid’s impact on hospitalization rates.


The study conducted a retrospective analysis of patient records from April to August 2022. It included adults over 18 years with COVID-19 diagnoses, focusing on those prescribed Paxlovid within 5 days of diagnosis. A Cox proportional hazards model was employed, adjusting for demographics, geographic location, vaccination status, previous infection, and underlying health conditions.


The analysis revealed a significant reduction in hospitalization risk for Paxlovid recipients, including those vaccinated or previously infected. This suggests Paxlovid’s consistent effectiveness against various Omicron subvariants. Additionally, the findings support the current guidelines recommending Paxlovid for high-risk individuals, including older adults and those with multiple underlying conditions.


Paxlovid is a critical tool in managing COVID-19, offering protection against severe outcomes, particularly in high-risk groups. The study underscores its underutilization and advocates for broader prescription to eligible patients. Paxlovid’s easy administration and effectiveness make it a valuable resource in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.


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