Top 5 Takeaways

  1. Pronounced Disparities: From April to July 2022, Paxlovid treatment among COVID-19 patients aged ≥20 years was significantly lower for Black (35.8% less) and Hispanic (29.9% less) patients compared to White and non-Hispanic patients, respectively.
  2. Increased Paxlovid Use Over Time: The percentage of COVID-19 patients treated with Paxlovid rose from 0.6% in January to 34.3% in July 2022, though this increase was not equally distributed among all racial and ethnic groups.
  3. Underlying Factors: Factors contributing to these disparities include limited access to treatment facilities in high-poverty, majority-minority areas, previous negative healthcare experiences, and potential biases in healthcare provision.
  4. Immunocompromised Patients Affected: Racial and ethnic disparities in treatment were more pronounced among high-risk patient groups, including those aged ≥50 years and those who were immunocompromised.
  5. Public Health Implications: Addressing these disparities requires expanding awareness and access to COVID-19 treatments, particularly among high-risk groups and minority communities.

Original Article Author and Citation

Corresponding Author

Tegan K. Boehmer,

Suggested Citation

Boehmer TK, Koumans EH, Skillen EL, et al. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Outpatient Treatment of COVID-19 ― United States, January–July 2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:1359–1365. DOI:


This article discusses the racial and ethnic disparities in the outpatient treatment of COVID-19 in the United States from January to July 2022. It emphasizes the lower rates of Paxlovid treatment among Black and Hispanic patients compared to White and non-Hispanic patients. The study highlights the increase in Paxlovid usage over time, but notes that this rise was not uniformly experienced across all demographic groups.


The study analyzed electronic health record (EHR) data from 692,570 COVID-19 patients aged ≥20 years. It assessed treatment with Paxlovid, Lagevrio, Veklury, and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) by race and ethnicity, overall and among high-risk patient groups.


The findings reveal significant disparities in outpatient COVID-19 treatment, underscoring the need for targeted efforts to increase treatment access and awareness, especially in minority and high-risk populations. Factors contributing to these disparities include limited access to healthcare facilities, previous negative healthcare experiences, implicit biases, and social determinants of health.


The study concludes that while the use of Paxlovid in treating COVID-19 has increased overall, significant racial and ethnic disparities persist. Addressing these disparities is crucial for equitable health outcomes, especially for those at higher risk of severe illness. Expansion of programs to increase awareness and access to COVID-19 treatments is recommended to mitigate these disparities.



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