This study was conducted to identify rates of pediatric nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid) prescriptions overall and by patient characteristics.
Patients up to 23 years old with a clinical encounter and a nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid, n/r) prescription in a PEDSnet-affiliated institution between December 1, 2021 and September 14, 2022 were identified using electronic health record (EHR) data.
Of the 1,496,621 patients with clinical encounters during the study period, 920 received a nirmatrelvir/ritonavir prescription (mean age 17.2 years; SD 2.76 years). 40% (367/920) of prescriptions were provided to individuals aged 18-23, and 91% (838/920) of prescriptions occurred after April 1, 2022. The majority of patients (70%; 648/920) had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose at least 28 days before nirmatrelvir/ritonavir prescription. Only 40% (371/920) of individuals had documented COVID-19 within the 0 to 6 days prior to receiving a nirmatrelvir/ritonavir prescription. 53% (485/920) had no documented COVID-19 infection in the EHR. Among nirmatrelvir/ritonavir prescription recipients, 64% (586/920) had chronic or complex chronic disease and 9% (80/920) had malignant disease. 38/920 (4.5%) were hospitalized within 30 days of receiving nirmatrelvir/ritonavir.
Clinicians prescribe nirmatrelvir/ritonavir infrequently to children. While individuals receiving nirmatrelvir/ritonavir generally have significant chronic disease burden, a majority are receiving nirmatrelvir/ritonavir prescriptions without an EHR-recorded COVID-19 positive test or diagnosis. Development and implementation of concerted pediatric nirmatrelvir/ritonavir prescribing workflows can help better capture COVID-19 presentation, response, and adverse events at the population level.