Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ

Please choose from the topics below to learn more about COVID-19.

COVID-19 Vaccine • COVID-19 TestingAntibody TestingAntigen TestingTravel & Visitors During the Pandemic •  ProtectionExposures & QuarantineComing to InterMed


COVID Vaccine

Vaccine Availability • About the VaccinePediatric PatientsWomen and the VaccineAfter the Vaccine •  Billing and Insurance

COVID Vaccine: Vaccine Availability

Who can receive a COVID vaccine at InterMed?

InterMed is able to vaccinate those 12 years and older.

How do I schedule a vaccine appointment?

Contact your provider to schedule a vaccine appointment.

I’m under 18. Do I need my parents permission?

Patients younger than 18 must have a parent or guardian sign their COVID-19 Vaccine Consent  & Administration form. This can be done at the appointment or in advance. See our Pediatric Patients COVID Vaccine FAQ section for more details.

I am not a patient of InterMed. Can I get my vaccine?

InterMed is currently only vaccinating our patients. If you are not a patient, we encourage you to visit the State’s website for COVID-19 vaccine locations in Maine.

 

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COVID Vaccine: About the Vaccine

Which vaccine will I receive?

InterMed is unable to guarantee a specific vaccine in advance of a patient’s appointment. You will receive one of the three FDA emergency use authorized vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson.

I only want to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

Because we are trying to vaccinate our patients as efficiently as possible to keep them healthy, we cannot accommodate vaccine requests. If you have a specific brand preference, visit the national directory, Vaccine Finder.

What is known about the vaccine’s side effects?

Common side effects include pain, swelling, or redness in the arm where you got the shot. You may experience chills, tiredness, or headache. These side effects usually start within a day or two of getting the vaccine. They might feel like flu symptoms and might even affect your ability to do daily activities, but will go away in a few days. For more safety information, refer to the federal CDC’s Pfizer or Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine resources.

Should patients with autoimmune conditions or immunocompromised patients receive the vaccine?

Individuals with autoimmune conditions or patients who are immunocompromised may receive COVID-19 vaccination if they have no contraindications to vaccination. Patients should contact their primary care provider to discuss their specific situation ahead of receiving the vaccine. Patient’s should continue to follow all guidelines to protect themselves against COVID-19, which includes wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently and staying at least 6 feet away from others.

I got the COVID-19 vaccine outside InterMed, does my primary care provider need to know?

Yes. This is important for your primary care provider to know in the event that follow-up is needed such as scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine booster at a future date. The easiest way to share your vaccination information with your InterMed primary care provider is to scan or photograph your vaccine card and send it to us using our Secure File Upload. We’ll update this information in your medical record. Please do not send it via email.

  • Enter your primary care provider under Intended Recipient, and “COVID vaccine” under Additional Information.

I currently have COVID-19. Can I get the vaccine now?

If you currently have COVID-19 you should defer vaccination until you have recovered and have discontinued isolation. To learn more about when to discontinue isolation, read our handout: Guidelines for Positive COVID persons

If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. The current recommendation advises that those who have already had COVID-19 still be vaccinated. While natural infection gives some degree of immunity, it does not give full protection.

If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine, unless you have discussed this with your primary care physician and they have cleared you receiving the vaccine sooner than 90 days.

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I recently received a different vaccine?

Yes, the CDC has removed its recommendation of separating the COVID-19 vaccine from other immunization, so you no longer need to wait 14 days after administration of other vaccines.

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COVID Vaccine: Pediatric Patients

Should pediatric patients receive the vaccine?

The FDA authorized the Pfizer vaccine for use in individuals 12 years and older and the Moderna vaccine for use in individuals 18 years and older.

I’m under 18. Do I need my parents permission?

Patients under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign their COVID-19 Vaccine Consent  & Administration form. This can be done at the appointment or in advance.

 

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COVID Vaccine: Women and the Vaccine

Should patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding receive the vaccine?

The American College of Gynecologists (ACOG) now recommends that the vaccine should not be withheld from pregnant or lactating women who qualify for vaccination, especially if they work in a particularly high risk setting. None of the trials on the vaccine included pregnant or lactating women so there is currently no clear safety data for this population.

Should patients actively trying to become pregnant or contemplating pregnancy receive the vaccine?

The American College of Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends non-pregnant individuals seek vaccination. Further, ACOG recommends vaccination of individuals who are actively trying to become pregnant or are contemplating pregnancy and meet the criteria for vaccination based on CDC prioritization recommendations. Additionally, it is not necessary to delay pregnancy after completing both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine cause infertility?

Given the mechanism of action and the safety profile of the vaccine in non-pregnant individuals, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are not thought to cause an increased risk of infertility.

What happens if I become pregnant between doses or shortly after receiving the vaccine?

If a patient becomes pregnant after the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine series, the second dose should be administered as indicated. If an individual receives a COVID-19 vaccine and becomes pregnant within 30 days of receipt of the vaccine, participation in the CDC’s V-SAFE program should be encouraged.

How much time should l allow between a mammogram and COVID vaccine?

Try to schedule your screening mammogram before your first COVID-19 vaccine dose or at least 4 weeks after your second vaccine dose. This reduces the chance that swollen lymph nodes from the vaccine will appear on your mammogram. If you have already scheduled a vaccine within this timeframe, keep your appointment. Regular screening mammograms ensure that breast cancer can be detected as early as possible.

It is especially important to keep your mammogram appointment if you are significantly overdue for screening.

If you have a mammogram after your COVID vaccine, let your mammography technologist know which dose, the date you received it, and in which arm. This information will help the breast radiologist interpreting your screening mammogram. Learn more

Related link

Watch a video from Boston IVF about COVID vaccination, fertility, and  pregnancy

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COVID Vaccine: After the Vaccine

If I receive the vaccine can I stop wearing a mask and avoiding close contact with others?

If you are fully vaccinated you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local businesses and workplace guidelines. For more details regarding what you can start doing and what you should keep doing visit the federal CDC’s guide for fully vaccinated individuals.

Please note that masks are required of anyone who visits our offices, regardless of vaccination status.

What is V-SAFE?

V-safe is a smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker offered by the federal CDC for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe uses text messaging and web surveys from CDC to check in with vaccine recipients following COVID-19 vaccination. V-safe also provides second vaccine dose reminders if needed, and telephone follow up to anyone who reports medically significant (important) adverse events. To learn more, visit the CDC’s resources for V-safe, or to sign up, visit V-safe.

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COVID Vaccine: Billing and Insurance

How much will the vaccine cost?

The COVID vaccine will be provided to patients at no cost. For patients with health insurance, there will be a vaccine administration fee that we will bill to your insurance provider.

  • The Moderna vaccine administration CPT code for dose 1 is 0011A and 0012A for dose 2 and is $71 per dose administered. Since the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is a two-dose series the vaccine administration fee will be billed to your insurance provider for each separate dose.
  • The Pfizer vaccine administration CPT code for dose 1 is 0001A and 0002A for dose 2 and is $71 per dose administered. Since the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is a two-dose series the vaccine administration fee will be billed to your insurance provider for each separate dose.
  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration CPT code is 0031A and is $71. Since the J&J COVID-19 vaccine is a one-dose series the vaccine administration fee will be billed to your insurance provider once for the single dose.

There is no charge to patients for the vaccine or its administration and you will not incur a bill associated with InterMed billing your insurance provider.

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COVID-19 Testing

What types of COVID testing does InterMed offer?

InterMed offers PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID-19 testing, which is the most sensitive (fewest false negatives) test for the detection of COVID-19. This test is appropriate for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. The sample is collected via nasal swab.

InterMed also offers Abbott ID NOW rapid testing, a test that provides reliable results in 15-30 minutes in appropriately selected patients with symptoms. This is a viral RNA detection (not antigen) test, which is less sensitive (has more false negatives) than the PCR test. When used in symptomatic patients this test is very effective in rapidly determining a patient’s COVID-19 status. The sample is collected via nasal swab.

If your provider has a high suspicion that you may have COVID-19 but results from the Abbott ID NOW rapid test are negative, the provider may request repeating the nasal swab and testing with the more sensitive PCR.

Will my insurance cover COVID-19 testing?

Coverage varies by insurer. Please contact your insurance company to discuss your plan’s coverage. The CPT code for both types of COVID-19 testing is 87635.

How much does COVID-19 cost me if my insurance does not cover it?

COVID-19 testing costs $118 per test for either PCR or Abbott ID NOW rapid test.

Who can get tested at InterMed for COVID-19?

The current spike of COVID-19 cases in Maine necessitates that we prioritize COVID-19 testing for symptomatic patients and patients who are frontline healthcare workers or first responders with close contact to a known COVID-19 positive individual. InterMed is unable to test patients seeking travel clearance or returning to Maine who want to avoid quarantine. If you need travel related testing the State maintains a website with locations that accommodate travel related testing requests.

Where do I go for my InterMed testing appointment?

100 Foden Road, South Portland. Testing is a conducted via a drive-through setup. Please note that testing is by appointment only.

When will I find out my test results?

Abbott ID NOW rapid test results are known within 15-30 minutes of the test.

PCR test result turnaround time can be highly variable. Typically results are available within 6 days from the test date, however, when demand increases the turnaround time can be longer. At the time of your COVID-19 test appointment, you will be informed of the expected turnaround for your test results. Turnaround testing varies based on the processing lab (examples include the Maine State lab, Quest, NorDx, and InterMed’s in-house lab), the type of COVID-19 test ordered, and the number of tests in queue for processing. All of the labs that we use are working as efficiently as possible to process COVID-19 tests in a timely manner. Please refer to the expected turnaround provided during your InterMed COVID-19 test appointment to determine when your test results should be available.

How will I be notified of my test results?

Abbott ID NOW rapid test results are shared with the patient at the time of your appointment. Otherwise, your primary care provider’s office will call you or release your results via the MyInterMed patient portal. To login or sign-up for MyInterMed, visit the patient portal.

Why have my friend’s COVID results come back but mine have not?

Turnaround testing varies based on the processing lab (examples include the Maine State lab, Quest, NorDx, and InterMed’s in-house lab), the type of COVID-19 test ordered, and the amount of tests in queue for processing. All labs across the country are working as efficiently as possible to process COVID-19 tests in a timely manner. Please refer to the expected turnaround provided during your InterMed COVID-19 test appointment to determine when your test results should be available.

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Antibody Testing

Can I get COVID antibody testing at InterMed and what does the test mean?

Yes, InterMed offers antibody testing to patients. Antibody tests blood tests can detect antibodies to this coronavirus. If you have a positive test, it means that you likely had contact with the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This test can also be positive due to other coronaviruses (such as certain cold viruses) that you may have had in the past. Having antibodies to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 might provide some protection from being infected with the virus again. If it does, we do not know how much protection the antibodies might provide or how long this protection might last. Confirmed and suspected cases of reinfection have been reported but seem to be rare. You should continue to protect yourself and others since you could get infected with the virus again.

Will my insurance cover COVID-19 antibody testing?

Coverage varies by insurer. Please contact your insurance company to discuss details of your plan’s coverage. The CPT code for COVID-19 antibody testing is 86769 and the associated blood draw CPT code is 36415 (Venipuncture).

How much does antibody testing cost out of pocket if my insurance does not cover it?

The antibody test costs $45 out of pocket and the associated blood draw costs $9 out of pocket.

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Antigen testing

Can I get COVID antigen testing at InterMed and what does the test mean?

InterMed does not currently offer antigen testing. Antigen tests are a nasal swab sample that looks for antigens specific to COVID-19 which may tell if you have a current infection. Antigen tests are generally less sensitive than PCR tests which means a higher chance of a false negative test results. InterMed continually reassesses the utility of different test methods to determine the best tests to offer to our patients to meet their needs.

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Travel & visitors during the pandemic

I have out of town guests coming to visit that are not InterMed patients. Where do I advise they go for testing?

InterMed only offers COVID-19 testing to our patients. However, the State maintains a website with locations that provide COVID-19 tests free of charge to people who feel they need one, even without an order from a provider.

I have upcoming travel scheduled. Should I cancel? Can I get tested at InterMed upon my return to Maine?

The CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated, because travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.

People who are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine can travel safely within the United States:

  • Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to get tested before or after travel unless their destination requires it
  • Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to self-quarantine
  • Fully vaccinated travelers should still follow CDC’s recommendations for traveling safely including:
    • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
    • Stay 6 feet from others and avoid crowds
    • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer

If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s recommendations for unvaccinated people. For more information, refer to the CDC’s travel guidance including domestic and international travel requirements.

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Protection

My child attends in-person daycare or school. How do I best protect them from COVID-19 in these group settings?

Recommend your child wash their hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, stay at least 6 feet from other people, and wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth. Children under the age of 2 years old are not recommended to wear a mask. For more information, refer to the CDC’s guidance on how to protect yourself & others.

Should I be wearing a N-95 instead of a cloth mask or paper mask?

Please do not wear masks intended for healthcare providers such as N-95 respirators unless you work in the healthcare industry and have been properly fit-tested to wear a N-95 mask. Refer to the CDC’s guidelines on how to select, wear, and clean your mask.

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Exposures & Quarantine

Who is considered a close contact to someone with COVID-19?

A close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

What should I do if I have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19? Should I get tested for COVID-19 and if so, when should I get tested?

  • Stay home for 10 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19 and continue to monitor for symptoms for an additional 4 days. Speak with your employer about options to quarantine at work if you remain asymptomatic.
  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. If you develop symptoms, contact your InterMed primary care provider immediately.
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at increased risk for getting COVID-19.

You should seek testing if you had a close contact exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual even if you do not have any COVID-19 symptoms. The timing of when you seek testing depends on the type of COVID-19 test being performed. It is important to know that there are different types of COVID-19 tests available and their intended purpose and ability to detect COVID-19 varies. For asymptomatic patients, the following testing guidelines should be followed:

  • PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing is advised given that it is the most sensitive (fewest false negatives) test for the detection of COVID-19. PCR testing should be conducted 5-7 days after close contact exposure. If symptoms develop, seek testing immediately.
  • Antigen testing provides diagnosis of an active COVID-19 infection faster than PCR tests as it is usually offered as a rapid test. But, antigen tests have a higher chance of missing an active infection. If an antigen test shows a negative result indicating that you do not have an active COVID-19 infection, a PCR test may be advised to confirm the result. Antigen testing should be performed 5 days after close contact exposure. If symptoms develop, seek testing immediately.

While you wait for test results, you should stay home and away from others for 10 days after your last contact with the COVID-19 positive person and continue to monitor for symptoms for an additional 4 days. Even if you have a negative test you should complete the quarantine after your last contact with the COVID-19 positive person. This is because symptoms can take 2-14 days to appear after exposure to the virus.

My child’s daycare or school notified us that a classmate within their classroom tested positive for COVID-19. Should my child be tested for COVID-19?

If your child is symptomatic contact their InterMed primary care provider to arrange for testing. If your child is asymptomatic, be alert for symptoms. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

If I had potential exposure to someone with COVID-19, but I am asymptomatic, can I visit elderly family members in person?

It is not advised that you visit older adults or people with certain medical conditions for 14-days from the date of exposure as a precaution since symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

Am I at risk if I go to a funeral or visitation service for someone who died of COVID-19?

There is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-19. However, you may be at risk of getting COVID-19 if you attend a funeral where there are multiple people congregating. For more information about what you can do to help protect yourself and others from COVID-19 during these services, and to help cope with the loss of a loved one, refer to the CDC’s funeral guidance.

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Coming to InterMed

I have an upcoming in-person appointment scheduled but do not feel comfortable coming to the office. Can I switch to a telehealth visit?

Yes, please call the provider you are scheduled with to discuss options for a telehealth visit.

I have been exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. May I still come to my appointment?

If you are fully vaccinated and have no symptoms, there are no restrictions and you may come to your appointment as planned, even if you’ve had close contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

  • Fully vaccinated means you have completed a COVID-19 vaccination series at least 14 days ago.

If you are fully vaccinated and have symptoms, please call our office to move your appointment to our Acute Care Clinic. We also recommend a COVID-19 test and a 10-day quarantine, unless your results are negative.

If you have not been vaccinated, please call our office to move your appointment to our Acute Care Clinic. You should quarantine for 10 days and if you have symptoms, be tested for COVID-19.

Please note

  • The CDC defines close contact as within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes over a 24-hour period
  • Learn more about COVID symptoms
  • You must always remain masked.

Can I still be seen by a provider if I have any symptoms of sickness?

Yes. InterMed offers telehealth visits as well as in-person visits at our Acute Care Clinic, which is equipped to safely treat sick patients. If you are scheduled for a visit and develop symptoms prior to your scheduled appointment, contact your provider’s office to discuss options for your upcoming visit.

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