Home care in Kensington, MD

  • 10400 Connecticut Ave
  • Suite 512
  • Kensington, MD 20895

COVID-19 Vaccination Information for Montgomery County Residents

Here is the most recent update from January 15 on the COVID-19 Vaccination efforts in Montgomery County

Who is currently receiving vaccines?

As of January 18, Montgomery County is in Phase 1A and Phase 1B for vaccine distribution.  For detailed information about the priority groups, please visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/vaccine/priority.html.

On January 14 Governor Hogan announced that Maryland will be moving to Phase 1B on Monday, January 18, 2021. Phase 1B includes people age 75 and older. Montgomery County has not yet received enough vaccine from the Maryland Department of Health to finish those in Priority Group 1A, but will begin vaccinating those in Priority Group 1B as soon as they can, while continuing to vaccinate those in Priority Group 1A.

You must pre-register before being able to make an appointment.

If you are in Priority Group 1B:

  • Pre-register for an appointment (disponible en español)
  • As the county gets more vaccine from the Maryland Department of Health, they will contact you to schedule your appointment

Expected distribution:

Phase 1

Phase 1A
Frontline health care workers
Staff and residents of nursing homes
First responders

Phase 1B
Residents over the age of 75
Frontline essential workers

Phase 1C
Residents over the age of 65
Those with specific medical conditions

Phase 2

People in critical infrastructure roles

Phase 3
General population

When will the next priority groups be vaccinated?

The timing of vaccinating priority groups depends on when the previous group is finished.  Once current priority groups are vaccinated, the county will move through the next groups.

Vaccinations are by appointment only, and the county website will provide a link to the appointment system when they move to the next priority groups.
Montgomery County is following both CDC and Maryland Department of Health guidance. Phase 1C includes individuals with underlying medical conditions which increase the risk of serious, life-threatening complications from COVID-19. The county expects additional guidance from the CDC on which underlying medical conditions will be included.

Vaccines will not be widely available until later in 2021. Eventually everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to receive one.

How will you be notified when you are eligible?

The county will announce which groups are eligible through their website, through Vaccine Update emails/texts, through their social media channels, and local news media. They will also use electronic newsletters (such as the County Executive’s weekly newsletter and Councilmembers' newsletters).

How to make a vaccine appointment (not currently available for the majority of the population)

When you are notified that you are eligible to receive a vaccination, you will be given an online link for making your appointment, and a list of available clinic locations and times. If you do not have internet access, the county will provide a phone number to call and make an appointment. When it is time for your second dose, they will send a reminder and appointment information.

Depending on how much vaccine is available, private physicians may soon be able to request vaccine to provide to their patients. Pharmacies will also be able to request their own vaccine supply.

How does the vaccine work?
The COVID-19 vaccines we will receive are mRNA vaccines. Unlike many vaccines that put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies to trigger an immune response, mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein or a piece of a protein that triggers an immune response. When the vaccine triggers that immune response, our bodies produce antibodies which then protect us from getting infected if we are exposed to the real virus.

For most COVID-19 vaccines, two doses of the vaccine will be required. An online service called PrepMod will be used to schedule appointments and send reminders to people when their second vaccination doses are due.

Should everyone get a COVID-19 vaccination?
Yes. COVID-19 varies widely in how it affects those infected, from mild headaches to severe disease and even death. Getting vaccinated will protect you, and will also help protect people around you who may be more vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19. Although getting COVID-19 may offer some natural immunity, we don’t yet know how long that protection will last.

The County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is prepared to respond to anaphylaxis/severe allergic reactions after the COVID-19 vaccination and is pre-screening individuals to determine if there are any contraindications or precautions.

Who decides priority distribution of the vaccine?
The CDC will make decisions about fair allocation and distribution of the vaccine, with input from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Although state and local jurisdictions will have an important role to play in implementing the distribution plan, they do not have control over who is in each of the designated priority groups.

How much will the COVID-19 vaccine cost?
There will be no cost for the COVID-19 vaccine. Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance will cover the cost of the vaccine. Montgomery County will cover the cost for anyone who is uninsured.
The County is currently planning vaccination clinics to guarantee fair distribution of the vaccine.

More information on vaccination options provided through the County and other partners will be shared broadly when we enter the next phases of distribution.

Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine? 

The COVID-19 vaccines cannot infect you with COVID-19 disease. The vaccines currently pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use are mRNA vaccines, which do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19. The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the “spike protein.” The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. Our immune systems recognize that the protein doesn’t belong there and begin building an immune response and making antibodies, like what would happen in a natural infection against COVID-19.

How do we know the COVID-19 vaccine is safe?

The COVID-19 vaccines are being held to the same rigorous safety and effectiveness standards as all other types of vaccines in the United States. Because of the pandemic, testing and production of the vaccine have happened simultaneously, but none of the safety steps were skipped.

Vaccines will only be approved if they pass the rigorous testing and efficacy standards set by the FDA. The only COVID-19 vaccines the FDA will make available for use in the United States (by approval or emergency use authorization) are those that meet these standards.

Will the vaccine end the pandemic?

News about the development of a vaccine that is safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 is a major breakthrough in battling the pandemic. However, the vaccine alone won’t end the pandemic immediately.
Because production and distribution of the vaccine will take time, we will continue living with COVID-19 well into 2021.

Reasonable safety precautions like wearing a mask, physical distancing, vigilant hand washing, and minimizing large gatherings will still be essential as we wait for widespread vaccination to become available.

Where can I learn more about Maryland’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan?

For detailed answers to questions about Maryland’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, click here: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/vaccine/

Sign Up for vaccine email/text updates here: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/MDMONTGOMERY/subscriber/new?topic_id=MDMONTGOMERY_437

BrightStar Care of Montgomery County provides hourly and 24/7 senior home health care.  

We provide patient home inspections and a full continuum of private duty home health care services, including companionship, personal care, transportation, medication assistance, and skilled nursing. We proudly serve Germantown, Bethesda, Silver Spring, Chevy Chase, Takoma Park, Kensington, Ashton, and Sandy Spring.

For more information about how BrightStar Care helps keep you safe at home, and to learn more about our local team of caregivers, skilled healthcare professionals, and home health care support for Montgomery County families and businesses, please Click Here.

For more information about how BrightStar Care helps keep you safe at home, and to learn more about our local team of caregivers, skilled healthcare professionals, and home health care support for Montgomery County families and businesses, please Click Here.

Source: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/vaccine/