COVID Vaccines, Testing & Treatment

COVID-19 Vaccine

**RIMG is offering the MODERNA COVID-19 vaccine only**

When: By appointment only

Where: Main Office: 1201 Seven Locks Road, 2nd floor, SUITE 214, Rockville, MD 20854.

How to Schedule: The fastest and most efficient way to schedule is through our online scheduling portal

Please complete the pre-vaccination checklist below and bring to your vaccine appointment.

Do I need a Booster Vaccine?

***We only the have Moderna vaccine for administration at RIMG***

If you are Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised: 

  • An additional dose of any mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) is recommended for any individual that is moderately to severely immunocompromised at least 4 weeks after your 2nd dose (or 1st dose for J&J recipients) 
    • * please note if you received Moderna this will be a full dose *

If you received Pfizer or Moderna: 

For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, everyone ages 18 and older are eligible for a booster shot at least 6 months after their 2nd dose:

**Please note that the dosage for the Moderna booster dose is smaller than the dosage in the primary Moderna series.**  

If you received J&J: 

For individuals 18 and older who received the J&J vaccine, a booster dose of any mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) is recommended at least 2 months after your shot.

Can I get the COVID and FLU vaccine together?

YES! Current guidance for the use of COVID-19 vaccines states that these vaccines may be administered with other vaccines including the flu vaccine.

Where else can I get the Vaccine?

The vaccines are readily available at local pharmacies and state run clinics.

What is the COVID-19 vaccine?

There are currently three vaccines available in the US: Pfizer,  Moderna & Johnson & Johnson (Janssen). Pfizer now has full FDA approval. Moderna and J&J are under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Should you get the COVID-19 vaccine?

RIMG strongly recommends that anyone eligible should get any COVID-19 vaccine when available to them. 

Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, director of CDC: “We all know that the more viruses replicate they more they mutate. The more they mutate, the more we’re likely to see dominant variants that could really emerge and become a problem for us. So the best thing that we can do to prevent these, in general, is to have less disease circulating, less virus circulating. And the way to decrease the amount of virus circulating is to get as many people vaccinated as possible, as quickly as possible, and to continue preventive measures like mask wearing and physical distancing. So while a lot needs to happen at the level of scientific institutions and governments, of no less importance is continued adherence to basic public health measures on the part of every individual around the globe.”

Essentially, doing your part by getting vaccinated will help with possible COVID variants and reemergence of disease.

This is a helpful video explaining COVID vaccines and variants.

When can you get the COVID-19 vaccine?

All Marylanders 12 and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Currently, Moderna and J&J are approved for age 18 and older and Pfizer is approved for age 5 and older.

COVID-19 Testing & Treatment

If you are currently ill with COVID, have COVID symptoms please schedule a virtual visit ASAP. We can discuss your eligibility for treatments such as Monoclonal Antibodies and arrange testing in house with a same day COVID PCR test.  

If you need ASYMPTOMATIC testing (i.e. after travel or after a covid exposure) no appointment prior is needed, simply call to schedule COVID testing. COVID testing after an exposure is ideally done 5 days post exposure. Please Refer to the CDC website for recommendations on how to proceed after a possible COVID exposure.

There are 2 types of COVID tests available at RIMG: a PCR (Nasal Swab), and the Serum Antibody blood  test (to test for immunity/past exposure).A virtual visit with one of our providers is required prior to testing. 

What do the COVID-19 tests detect?

PCR (Nasal Swab): This test will detect if you are actively infected with the COVID-19 virus. We have a Same-Day PCR test available

Serum Antibody (Blood Test): This test will detect if you have had prior exposure to COVID-19 and/or have built an antibody for the virus from a vaccine. For most viral illnesses, a positive antibody means prior exposure to a virus and some degree of immunity to future infection. As COVID-19 is a novel (new) infection, it is unclear if a positive antibody definitively offers immunity and is not recommended as a screening test for immunity by the CDC. Despite a positive antibody test, the recommendation is to still practice universal precautions.

*Please note, that the FDA is advising against the use of SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests to evaluate immunity from Covid-19 after vaccination.*

What testing do I need?

PCR Nasal swab:

  • If you are actively experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as Fever or chills, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Fatigue, Muscle or body aches, Headache, New loss of taste or smell, Sore throat, Congestion or runny nose, Nausea or vomiting, Diarrhea
  •  Asymptomatic travel
  • After COVID-19 exposure

Serum Antibody (Blood Test): 

  • If you previously had COVID-19 symptoms (Fever, persistent cough, shortness of breath, body aches) and have recovered after 14 days.
  • If you received a positive test result for COVID-19 and have recovered after 14 days.

How are these tests administered?

PCR  (Nasal Swab): Administered via a nasal swab. Schedule a virtual visit with one of our providers for testing. An order is required. 

PCR testing is being completed at:

  • Suite 216: Drive to the back of our building and park near the black ramp. 
    • *By appointment only* during office hours
    •  There is no access to SUITE 216 through the front of the building
    • Please come at your designated appointment time

Serum Antibody Blood Test: Blood sample taken at a lab. An order is required. 

How long will it take to receive my results and how do I view them?

PCR (Nasal Swab): Your results can be viewed via your patient portal account and you will receive an email/text notification once they are available the same day.  If you prefer a phone call with your results, please let your provider know

Serum Antibody Blood Test: Generally, it will take about 2 days to receive your antibody results. Your results can be viewed via your patient portal account and you will receive an email/text notification once they are available. 

What platform do you use for testing?

Same-Day PCR testing is done via the Cepheid system.

We are performing the Vitros SARS-CoV-2 Total Antibody test in our lab (tests for IgG, IgM and IgA- both active and past infection). This specific antibody test has approval for FDA Emergency Use and has a 100% specificity. If your insurance requires you to go to Labcorp or Quest for lab draws, then we can order through their platform.

Current In-Office Operations

The health and safety of our patients and staff remains our priority!  All RIMG providers and specialists have the ability to see you virtually, while working in the office on a rotating basis. Please do not postpone routine, acute or preventative care during this time.  

    • Office Hours: M-F 8:00am-4:00pm
    • VIRTUAL VISITS available with all RIMG providers
    • If you require an in-office appointment please call the office (i.e. pre- op evaluation, certain procedures and non-COVID related concerns)
    • Our LAB remains open by appointment only. To book online, click here, or call: Rockville Office: 301-762-5020, press 2, or Olney Office: 301-933-5050, press 0

In-Person Appointments: 

As a reminder, please do NOT come into the office if you have had any COVID symptoms or possible COVID exposure in the past 14 days. You will be screened upon entry with a temperature check and COVID screening questionnaire. If your responses indicate that you may have COVID-19 or possible exposure, you will be asked to leave the building and switch your appointment to a virtual visit. *If you are coming into our office, please wear a mask and come alone unless you require assistance*

In Person Walk-In Clinic/Virtual Walk-In Clinic:

Rockville Internal Medicine Group (RIMG) has reopened our walk-in clinic for our primary care patients at our Rockville location. Our virtual on-demand walk-in clinic will remain available. For everyone’s safety, the in person walk-in clinic will be for non-COVID related visits,  if you have any URI symptoms, we can see you virtually only. Our virtual on-demand walk-in clinic will remain available. The hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 8am-3:45pm (closed 11:30am-1pm)

To access our walk-in clinic, enter through our main office entrance, Suite 111.  Upon entrance, you will be screened to ensure the visit is not COVID related and screened for COVID with a temperature check and symptom questionnaire. After check-in, you will be assigned a time slot; we may ask you to wait in your car until it is time for your appointment to maintain social distancing in our waiting room. 

If you do not pass our COVID screening, you will be offered a same-day virtual visit to address your needs. The following issues can be addressed by our walk- in clinic: 

  • Rash/Skin infection
  • Ear pain
  • Urinary issue
  • GYN issue
  • Acute pain such as back or neck pain lasting less than 4 weeks 
  • Eye infection 
  • Minor injuries

Again, if there is ANY COVID concern with COVID symptoms, we will arrange a virtual visit instead and coordinate testing if appropriate. If testing is negative or you have proof of recent negative COVID test, we are then able to see you physically in the office. 

Virtual Visits: 

Virtual visits are appropriate for a variety of care needs, including urgent or acute issues, routine follow-up visits, chronic care disease management, medication management, reviewing test or lab results, and lifestyle coaching. Virtual visits are also appropriate for Medicare Annual Wellness Visits and Routine Physical Examinations (covered by Medicare, United  and CareFirst plans. Cigna and  Aetna require an in person physical exam). During your virtual physical we review lab results, ensure you are up to date on screening procedures, review family history, discuss healthy lifestyle and any symptoms or concerns you may be having. If deemed necessary for an in person evaluation after a virtual physical, we will do so. 

For a virtual visit, you will need to download the myPrivia App on your mobile device OR if using a desktop, you will need Google Chrome, speakers, a camera, a microphone and a strong connection speed.

  1. Once you call our office to schedule a virtual visit you will receive an email with a link to “Start my Virtual Visit
  2. If applicable, you will add your insurance information and submit payment
  3. Once the provider joins the virtual waiting room, click the blue button “Join Virtual Visit
  4. For a Virtual Visit tutorial click here.

Current Safety Protocols:

  • Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are seen by virtual visit only
  • All patients are screened for COVID-19 upon arrival with a temperature check and screening questionnaire 
  • We have limited the number of people in our waiting rooms to adhere to social distancing guidelines
  • All staff wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, which may include, gowns, masks, gloves, and face shields
  • Enhanced cleaning procedures have been implemented throughout the entire office
  • Staff are fully vaccinated and screened daily for COVID symptoms 
  • COVID testing is performed in a separate location from our main offices

What You Should Expect From Your Visit:

  • You will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 upon check-in and have your temperature taken
  • You will be taken to an exam room promptly after check-in to minimize time in the waiting room
  • Social distancing guidelines are followed in our waiting room including limiting capacity
  • All providers and staff will be wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment