January 26, 2021 - Vaccinations for Individuals 75+ Beginning February 1st
The Department of Public Health announced today that vaccinations for individuals 75+ will begin on February 1 as part of PHASE TWO. Further information on this can be found here.
Appointment scheduling for those individuals will begin as early as WEDNESDAY, January 27, 2021. More information on locations and scheduling appointments can be found here.
For the full press release from the Baker-Polito Administration, read more here.
Start of Phase II for COVID Vaccine Distribution - January 23, 2021
Following an announcement on Thursday night from Lowell General CEO Amy Hoey and Chief of Infectious Disease Adam Weston, we are now able to relay to our patients the roll out plan for Phase II of the COVID vaccine distribution. Phase II is hopefully slated to start within the first couple of weeks of February 2021. Currently, Phase II will consist of the following patients: 1) ALL patients over the age of 75 and 2) All patients with two co-morbid conditions as defined by the Mass DPH.
The conditions are as follows: Cancer, Chronic Kidney Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Downs Syndrome, Congestive Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Disease, Cardiomyopathy, Immunocompromised state due to previous organ transplant, Obesity with BMI >30; Pregnancy, Sickle Cell Disease, Smoking, Type II Diabetes.
If you meet two of the above criteria, you will be eligible in Phase II. If you have any questions concerning your possible eligibility, please contact us at Mill City Medical (978-955-9500).
Within the next two weeks, Circle Health will be finalizing their plans for distribution. The distribution of the vaccine will be given at a central location, still yet to be determined by Lowell General Hospital. The vaccine WILL NOT BE GIVEN at the Mill City Office. Unfortunately, as many are aware, there are a number of logistical issues associated with the administration of the vaccine which will prevent us from giving it at Mill City Medical. Lowell General Hospital will be putting out a link for patients to go online and register. Upon registration, patients will be given a scheduled time and date to receive their vaccine. We are also planning to have this link for patients on our website once it becomes available. We are available at Mill City to help any patient that has difficulty with the registration process. When registering, you may be asked for insurance information - be advised, this is for demographic information only. THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THE VACCINE.
Currently, Circle Health will be distributing both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The efficacy and side effects between both the vaccines are similar. You will need to have the same type of vaccine given to you on your second shot. You will be told at the administration of your first vaccine which type you are receiving and when to come back for your second dosage. The current rule of thumb is two weeks for the Pfizer and three weeks for the Moderna. We ask that you try to stay as close to that schedule as possible,
FAQ's About the Vaccine:
Is the vaccine safe?
Yes, it is safe. The technology that has been used to develop the vaccine has been around for many years and dates back to research done initially with the HIV virus. This is not something that has just been thought up in the last 8 months.
Are there side effects from the vaccine?
So far, they are quite minimal. Usually soreness at the injection site, achy, fatigue, possible low grade fever. These are all completely normal and signs that your immune system is reacting correctly to the vaccine. Most reported symptoms are gone within 24 hours. A very rare side effect of an allergic reaction has been reported - currently in about 1 out of every 100,000 people getting the vaccine. This is why patients are required to receive the vaccine in a monitored setting with medical professionals and be watched for 15 minutes following administration.
Can I get COVID from the vaccine or give someone COVID?
Absolutely NOT. The vaccine is what is called a single-stranded RNA vaccine. It stimulates your cells to create antibodies. There is NO live virus in the vaccine.
Who should not get this vaccine?
Almost no one. The only absolute contraindication to the vaccine is a known allergic reaction to components in the vaccine. For instance, there is no EGG in the vaccine. This is something you may discuss with your Mill City Medical provider should you have any questions.
I had COVID, do I really need the vaccine?
Absolutely YES. We still do not know, for those who have had COVID, if this provides any long term immunity to future infections. There have been some reported cases of individuals being infected twice. Therefore, yes you should get the vaccine. Even if your infection was recent, as long as you are past the prescribed number of quarantine days and without symptoms, you can get the vaccine.
How long is the vaccine good for?
Moderna is currently saying at least 1 year. Obviously, we do not yet have enough data to say. It may mean yearly booster vaccines in the future similar to the annual influenza vaccine. Stay tuned on this one.
I'm pregnant, thinking about getting pregnant or nursing. Should I get the vaccine?
The American College of OB/GYN has recently recommended that all women who fall into these classes get the COVID 19 vaccine. Yes, it has not been extensively studied in any of these groups. However, the risk of being pregnant and getting COVID outweighs the risk of the vaccine.
Why would I want to get the vaccine?
It is the only way that we ever get back to "normal" is by having the population become vaccinated. This will hopefully stop the spread of COVID once and for all. Also, it is likely that one's ability to travel in the future, attend live sporting events, concerts, etc. may be dependent on the ability to produce proof that you were immunized. Already this week, a few of the countries in the European Union have made it mandatory that all foreign visitors produce proof of immunization. It is likely that this practice will become more common, even for flying and domestic travel.
We will continue to update this page as more information becomes known. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.
The Staff of Mill City Medical
January 7, 2021
The next step in Phase I that we are moving towards in Massachusetts is the vaccination of first responders. If any of our patients are working as first responders, please make sure to check the www.mass.gov website for details on this process.
January 1, 2021
A great number of patients at Mill City Medical have been asking about the Covid vaccine now that it has been released. We hope this will help answer some of those questions.
Currently, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is in Phase I in the vaccine release. This includes Health Care Workers, first responders, and nursing home residents. Right now, the vaccine is being sent only to hospitals and health care facilities.
In Phase I, there are NO plans to send the vaccine to medical offices, CVS, Walgreens, Minute Clinics, etc. Hopefully, this will happen in Phase II, when the vaccine will start to be given for usage to the general public.
We are asking our patients to periodically check our website. When we have further information, we will pass it along by updating our website and social media accounts.
In the interim, remain safe! Wear your mask, socially distance, and wash your hands. Have a happy and SAFE holiday season. As always, we are here to answer any questions you may have.
November 24, 2020 - COVID-19 Update
Due to the current surge of cases in the COVID-19 pandemic, we thought you may find it helpful for Mill City Medical to put forth some recommendations in regards to who needs to be tested and who does not.
1) Any person experiencing fever, sore throat, cough, chest congestion or chills that last more than a day and do not improve simply with rest and OTC analgesics such as Tylenol or Advil.
2) Any person with knowledge of DIRECT exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. DIRECT exposure is defined as DIRECT contact with that person for at least 15 minutes and at a distance of six feet or less.
We have been getting a number of calls about secondary exposure... meaning for instance, someone tested positive at your child's school. We would advise your child to be tested if, again, they came in direct contact with this person. However, you as the parent, are a secondary contact. Unless your child were to become positive or exhibit symptoms, you yourself, do not need to be tested. The same holds true for a spouse or co-worker who may have been exposed. Unless they themselves are positive, you as the secondary exposure, does not need to be tested. Due to the surge, we are finding it more difficult for patients that need to be tested, to obtain COVID-19 testing; resources are becoming limited. We ask for that reason, if there is any question, to call us and we can advise if you need testing.
Sadly, we cannot at this time offer testing for travel related issues, such as traveling out of state or children returning from college. For this, we would advise you look on the Mass DPH website to seek advice for other testing facilities in the area. Also, patients that have been directed by an employer to have a COVID-19 test before returning to work should seek their own testing as well. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. However, with this, we are hoping to facilitate testing and reserve it for those who really need it. Sadly, our testing resources right now are compromised; a situation we all hope will improve over the next few weeks.
As a reminder, Mill City Medical has a physician on call 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have. Have a safe and socially distanced Thanksgiving.
November 12, 2020 - LGH Office Closed
As of November 12, 2020, our Riverwalk Office at 595 Pawtucket Blvd is now open! Any patients who had appointments at our Lowell General Office are being moved to the Riverwalk Office and are being contacted. If you have any questions, please call us at 978-970-1607!
As you may have heard by now, we have some exciting changes coming to Mill City Medical Group! Here they are:
1. We have absorbed the Beth Israel Lahey Primary Care Group following the retirement of Dr. O'Brien.
2. Our Lowell General Hospital Office will be closing and we will be seeing patients at our new Riverwalk Office location at 595 Pawtucket Blvd.
3. Our Palmer Street Office will be closing towards the end of the year and we will be moving to our new Thorndike Office at 165 Thorndike Street.
Q. Is Mill City Medical now a part of Beth Israel Lahey?
A. Nope! We are still affiliated with Lowell General Hospital and Circle Health.
Q. So much moving! Is there a third office location?
A. Nope! Just 2. Our NEW office addresses will be 595 Pawtucket Blvd and 165 Thorndike Street.
Q. When is all of this happening?
A. On November 12th, we will start seeing patients at our Riverwalk Office (595 Pawtucket Blvd.). Patients who are scheduled at LGH are being contacted and moved to the Riverwalk Office. Our Palmer Street Office will be closed and moved into 165 Thorndike Street by the end of December!
Q. How is the parking at both locations?
A. It's good at both locations! At 165 Thorndike Street there will be reserved spots in the lot for Mill City Medical. At 595 Pawtucket Blvd. there is a lot with many spots available!
Q. Is 165 Thorndike Street where the old Thorndike Factory Outlet was?
A. Yes! It was an old mill and then it was refurbished.
Q. Where exactly on Thorndike Street is the office?
A. It is directly located in front of the train/bus station, across from South Common. Very easy access from the Lowell Connector.
Mill City Medical offers DOT physicals for our current patients. Schedule yours today with our certified NP, Jessica Ames!