From Vaxmobile to Paxmobile: Traveling Covid Treatment in Town of Hempstead

Mount Sinai South Nassau’s Vaxmobile
Courtesy Mount Sinai South Nassau

Mount Sinai South Nassau’s “Vaxmobile,” a mobile Covid-19 testing and vaccination site, will now offer Paxlovid, a common oral treatment for the virus, the healthcare provider and Town of Hempstead announced Tuesday.

Officials say that this mobile “test and treat” option is the first of its kind on Long Island. Those who test positive for Covid-19 at the Vaxmobile or have a prescription from a doctor can receive the Paxlovid pill at the mobile unit free of charge.

“We are now in the sixth wave of the pandemic. While vaccination continues to provide the best protection against Covid-19, now more than ever, treatment that is easily accessible is an important next step to stopping further spread of the virus and preventing severe illness and hospitalization,” said Dr. Adhi Sharma, president of Mount Sinai South Nassau. “The Vaxmobile has proven that the easier we make it for patients to obtain vaccination and treatment, the more likely they are to get the protection they need. The ‘test and treat’ option is a logical next step.”

Paxlovid has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use outside of hospitals for those with mild to moderate Covid-19. Doctors recommend it for those ages 12 and older who are within five days of having symptoms and are at high risk of severe Covid-19.

The Vaxmobile is staffed by nurses from Mount Sinai South Nassau and is handicap accessible. Since it first began operating in March 2021, it has visited several communities throughout the county, including Elmont, Uniondale, Hempstead, Freeport, Westbury, and Baldwin. Mount Sinai South Nassau typically partners with community centers, schools, libraries, and other central locations to bring the Vaxmobile closer to local residents.

Long Island’s Covid-19 positivity rate on a 7-day average is about 10.5%, according to data from the New York State Department of Health.