COVID-19 Vaccine, Testing & Treatment

COVID-19 Vaccine

We are pleased to announce that we have been selected to be part of the primary care COVID-19 vaccination effort in Maryland! We have received a very limited supply of the COVID vaccine and we will reach out to patients based on predetermined age groups. We will not be administering any 2nd doses for patients that received their first dose elsewhere. 

Who: To register, must be a RIMG patient that is 60 years and above who has not received any COVID vaccine.

What: Moderna vaccine (2 appointments 4 weeks apart) or Johnson & Johnson vaccine

When: Tuesdays and Thursdays

Where: Location details will be provided when scheduled.

How to Register:  Click HERE to complete the registration form. 

After completing this registration form, you will be contacted to schedule an appointment while supplies are available. Once given an appointment, please arrive at your scheduled appointment time. If you are not going to make it the to the appointment please give us 48 hours notice 

Finally, we have been inundated with calls and portal messages inquiring about the COVID vaccine. We are unable to accommodate any special COVID vaccine requests, so please do not ask. We will update our website as new information becomes available.

Vaccine Distribution Phases and Priority Groups:

Please be aware that the Montgomery County Priority Groups/Tiers and State of Maryland Phases/Priority Groups are not in sync, this may create confusion. 

**Already Been Vaccinated?  You Can Now cancel your preregistration for a County-run clinic.**

Where else can I get the Vaccine?

Please get the vaccine wherever you are able to do so. You can also try this website that automatically finds vaccine appointments at pharmacy locations by state and is updated every minute!

Maryland has recently created: 

  • An online database with local COVID-19 vaccination sites based on location 
  • A telephone-based support line and appointment system for mass vaccination sites designed to assist residents without Internet access. Please call  1-855-MDGOVAX (1-855-634-6829) available seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

 

What is the COVID-19 vaccine?

There are currently three vaccines available in the US, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. They are available 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.

When can you get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The State of Maryland has  defined 5 Phases for vaccine distribution. 

  • 1A: Health care workers, Residents and staff of long-term care facilities, First responders.
  • 1B: Assisted living, other congregate settings, Adults age 75 and older, Education and continuity of government.
  • 1C: Adults age 65-74, Essential workers in lab services, agriculture, manufacturing, postal service, etc (Anticipated Late Jan -March) 
  • 2: Adults 16-64 at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness due to comorbidities, Essential workers in critical utilities, transportation, food service, etc. 
  • 3: General Population

COVID-19 Testing & Treatment

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

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).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 as of 1/25

Serum Antibody (Blood Test): This test will detect if you have had prior exposure to COVID-19 and have built an antibody for the virus. 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. Despite a positive antibody test, the recommendation is to still practice universal precautions.

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 and remain in your car until you are called or texted to enter SUITE 216

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.