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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Last Update: 1/20/2021

We know many are anxiously awaiting the availability of a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Unfortunately, we are unable to accept phone calls to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations at this time. We must keep our phone lines clear for people with urgent and acute medical care needs. When we are able to schedule by phone, we will communicate this to our patients and public.

Potomac Physician Associates has registered with the State of Maryland to obtain and administer vaccine, but have not yet been permitted to order. At this time, we do not have the COVID-19 vaccine.

We are not currently keeping a "waiting list" for vaccination, as we do not know when the vaccine will be made available for distribution to the general public and have 30,000 patients who will need vaccine.  However, The Maryland DOH provides excellent information on the vaccines and timing and had enabled an email/text notification system which you may sign up for.  Maryland is currently in  Phase 1B and plans to move to Phase 1C with guidance from the CDC.

https://covidlink.maryland.gov/content/vaccine/

Will PPA be giving the COVID-19 Vaccine?

PPA will be giving COVID -19 vaccine. We are hopeful to begin vaccination on or about February 1, 2021. We are completely dependent on when the state will begin to permit and ship to PCP practices.

  • PPA will only administer to the current priority groups defined by the State of Maryland. We will follow the State/County priority group phases
  • PPA anticipates getting the MODERNA vaccine initially, Vaccine is determined by the State/Federal Govt.
  • PPA is not scheduling vaccination appts until we know a more accurate shipping date.
  • PPA is planning to set up evening and weekend COVID-19 vaccine clinics to allow social distancing and spacing and allow those more vulnerable to get the vaccine in an environment with minimal contact with other people. We will adjust scheduling capacity to the supply provided.
  • When supply permits, we will provide vaccine at regularly scheduled office visits aligned with the County Defined Priority Group Phases.
  • We are testing drive though vaccination logistics and hope to be able to provide drive through vaccination in the early spring.
  • Scheduling for Covid-19 Vaccination will be available through direct scheduling at our website or portal scheduling – we expect to open this up on or about February 1st.
  • Appointment for second dose will be scheduled at the time of first dose administration.
  • PPA has already been generating high risk lists of our patients from your health record. We will notify patients of what phase we are scheduling by email and more targeted through portal and phone call.
  • Front line essential workers or other occupations in current phase who do not meet criteria based on age or medical condition will have to provide identification or letter proving their essential occupation.  

We expect supply to be low initially limiting our capacity but anticipate it will increase as time goes by. While supply is low, we must give it to high priority patients first. If you are not in a priority group, you will not be given the vaccine.

  

Where else can I get the Vaccine?

Maryland Department of Public Health: Maryland has set up public health clinics.  You may schedule or register at https://www.marylandvax.org/ if you qualify for the current phase.

There is currently very limited supply of vaccine and very few places to get vaccine. “At this time the federal Government is giving the state approximately 10,000 doses per day for over 1.5 million people who are eligible.”

Montgomery County Department of Health Clinics: "The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services is planning Coronavirus vaccine clinics for residents 75 years and older. Individuals must be residents of Montgomery County and be 75 years or older at the time of vaccination. Please bring your Identification Card when you come for your vaccine."

Hospitals:
John’s Hopkins Health Care "Currently, we are only permitted to vaccinate very specific groups of individuals residing in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Florida, and the current vaccine supply provided to Johns Hopkins Medicine is extremely limited. We will notify those eligible individuals by e-mail or phone when the opportunity to schedule becomes available.”

Adventist Health Care "Adventist HealthCare will open community clinics for Maryland residents age 75 and older as the state of Maryland shifts into phase 1B of its vaccination plan this week. Clinics will be held near our hospitals in Fort Washington, Shady Grove and White Oak. Pre-registration Required."

Holy Cross Hospital:  "Holy Cross Health vaccination appointments are accessible through the Maryland vaccination site, covidvax.maryland.gov. You can also search there for other vaccination sites that may be more convenient for you or may have openings. Across the state, vaccination appointments are likely to exceed demand for some time. Check back periodically on several sites and attend to announcements on the web, in newspapers, and on TV and radio. Bookmark this page to stay updated about further clinic dates.

MedStar Health: "Vaccine supply and appointments are limited. MedStar Health follows federal, state, and local eligibility guidelines regarding prioritization for vaccinating our patients. We ask for your patience as we do our best to serve the community."

Community Pharmacies:Vaccine may also be available in community pharmacies especially the larger chains.

Four Giant Food pharmacies will have vaccine available beginning January 25, 2021. These locations are in Bethesda, Burtonsville, Gaithersburg (Kentlands), and Silver Spring. See the Maryland COVID-19 Vaccine website for updates as they become available. We will also update this page as we know more.

Giant and Walmart to offer Covid-19 Vaccine.

You should get vaccine wherever you are able to do so.

What is the COVID-19 vaccine?

There are currently two vaccines available in the US, one from Pfizer and one from Moderna. They are available under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While these are the two currently available vaccines, there are many more under development.

Should you get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Potomac Physician Associates strongly recommends that anyone eligible should get a COVID-19 vaccine when available to them.

When can you get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that the first doses be distributed to essential healthcare personnel. The State of Maryland has  defined 5 Phases.

  • 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. (currently in this phase)
  • 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. (anticipated early Spring 2021)
  • 3: General Population (Spring Summer Fall)

Maryland Phased Vaccination Distribution

Is the vaccine effective?

Based on FDA trial data. the Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines are about 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 Infection.  This is considered a HIGHLY EFFECTIVE vaccine. To substantially stop the pandemic about 80% of the population will need t one vaccinated.  It is critical that anyone eligible receive the vaccine.

Is the vaccine safe?

Based upon currently available information, we believe the COVID-19 vaccine will be safe for the people covered under the initially limited FDA authorization. We have followed developments of the vaccines very closely, and we believe that proper procedures are being followed. Review this infographic from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) about how a new vaccine is developed, approved and manufactured.

At the time of this post more than 43 million doses have been given worldwide in 43 countries. In the US nearly 10 million doses have been given.  https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-vaccine-tracker-global-distribution/ accessed 1/13/2021.  Significant serious adverse reaction are rare such as a small number of severe allergic reaction currently estimated at about 1 in 100,000. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7002e1.htm accessed 1/13/2021 

In comparison:

COVID-19  disease has caused over 24 million cases with an estimated 400,000 deaths in the U.S. 

VS

Vaccine has been given to 12 million people with zero deaths, and less than 10 hospitalizations for anaphylaxis.

Vaccine is 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 and nearly 100% effective at preventing severe COVID-19 infection. When given to 85% of the population, it will prevent many hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of cases and millions of hospitalizations over the next 2 years alone.

Potomac Physician Associates, P.C.

Chevy Chase - 8401 Connecticut Ave., Penthouse Suite, Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Bethesda - Camalier Building, 10215 Fernwood Rd., Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20817

(301) 969-2772

  • Camalier Building - 10215 Fernwood Rd., Suite 100 Camalier Building, Bethesda, MD 20817 Phone: 3014934440
  • Shady Grove Adventist Medical Center - 19735 Germantown Rd., Suite 100, Germantown, MD 20874 Phone: (301) 528-9272
  • PPA - 8401 Connecticut Ave., Penthouse Suite, Chevy Chase, MD 20815 Phone: 3019422212

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