Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 VACCINE   

As of 4/8/21, we have received a supply of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines and online appointment scheduling is now available! 

All individuals can book an on-line vaccine appointment by clicking on this link: “Book A Vaccine Appointment.  The ‎Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be given.

Who Is Eligible for a Vaccine at MCH?   While DSHS announced all Texans age 12 and older are eligible to receive COVID-19 Vaccines – MCH offers vaccines to individuals age 16 and older.

All currently authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and CDC does not recommend one vaccine over another. You may choose to investigate COVID-19 Vaccine Information by clicking on this link:  Texas Health and Human Services which offers the latest information on vaccines in development and the distribution across Texas.

Find additional information in the section below: “Commonly asked Questions”   clicking on the + (plus sign) to reveal responses.

Stay Safe!

Commonly Asked Questions about COVID-19 (click on the + to display answers)

How can individuals obtain the COVID-19 vaccine?

Medical Clinic of Houston, an approved vaccination provider, offers online appointment scheduling; Click on this link: Book A Vaccine Appointment.

People can continue to find additional vaccine sites though the Texas DSHS Vaccine Information page (click here). Another vaccine resource for appointments or walk-ins may be this City of Houston’s Health Department’s link: COVID-19 vaccine clinics/. Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has indicated it plans to launch a website that will allow people to find vaccine clinics hosted by DSHS or a participating local health department and to schedule an appointment.

You may choose to investigate COVID-19 Vaccine Information by clicking on this link:  Texas Health and Human Services which offers the latest information on vaccines in development and the distribution across Texas.

We have procured all the necessary sub-zero freezer storage and temperature monitoring, and our physicians and staff have received the necessary training for administering the two-dose vaccine.

Continue to check our web site’s “Home” page for updates.

Hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine, when it is available?

Please click on the Fact Sheet to read the Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet

The CDC recommends getting the first COVID-19 vaccine available to you. All currently authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and CDC does not recommend one vaccine over another.

You could also read this article, published by CNN, by clicking on the link: https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/02/health/covid-vaccine-hesitancy-questions-answered-wellness-trnd/index.html

Continue to check our web site’s “Home” page for updates.

Who is eligible to get the vaccine?

Effective March 29, 2021, all Texans age 16 and over are eligible to receive COVID-19 Vaccines although seniors 80 and older are considered at-risk vulnerable patients and will continue to be a priority along with others who meet specific criteria (phases), depending on availability.

What are the different vaccines and who can take them?

Who can take vaccine?

Pfizer-BioNTech

  • People 16 years old and older

Moderna and Johnson & Johnson

  • People 18 years old and older

Significance: Those under 18 likely won’t be eligible to get the vaccine until later in 2021 anyway since health care workers, nursing home residents and staff, essential workers, people 65 and older and those with certain health risks are slated to be the first groups vaccinated. Other vaccines may be available to younger age groups by then.

Side effects

Pfizer-BioNTech

  • The most common side effects were pain at the injection site, followed by tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever, according to the FDA.
  • In the United Kingdom, two health care workers reported severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) after being vaccinated; two health care workers in Alaska reported a serious allergic reaction after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
  • In the U.S. trial, four people who received the vaccine developed Bell’s palsy, which causes usually temporary paralysis in facial muscles

Moderna

  • The most common side effects were pain at the injection site, followed by tiredness, headache, muscle pain, joint pain and chills, an FDA analysis found.
  • Three trial participants who received the vaccine developed Bell’s palsy.

Johnson & Johnson

  • The most common side effects were pain at the injection site, followed by headache, fatigue and myalgia (muscle pain).
  • There was one case of hypersensitivity — although not classified as anaphylaxis — that began two days after the injection.
  • There were four reported cases of Bell’s palsy: two among those getting the vaccine and two who received the placebo.

Significance: The side effects are similar for each vaccine. William Moss, a physician and executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, points out that the number of Bell’s palsy cases in both trials is “very small and likely just represents chance,” but says “going forward we’ll just need to monitor more carefully and just make sure we’re looking for Bell’s palsy and make sure that it’s not related to the vaccine.”

When it comes to the anaphylactic reactions exhibited in Great Britain, one of the participants had a history of allergic reactions. U.S. federal officials have warned health care providers not to give the vaccine to anyone with a known history of a severe allergic reaction to any part of the vaccine, a standard caution for all vaccines. As with the Bell’s palsy cases, officials are expected to watch for such reactions.

How many shots?

Pfizer-BioNTech

  • Two shots of the vaccine, given 21 days apart, are required for it to be fully effective.

Moderna

  • Two shots are required, 28 days apart.

Johnson & Johnson

  • One shot required.

Is in-vehicle testing available?

Swab testing for MCH patients may be performed through your vehicle’s window – only after scheduling an appointment with your physician.

For additional testing information, please scroll down this page to: TESTING RELATED TO COVID-19 .

How do I get results of my COVID-19 test?

Your doctor’s office will call you with all COVID-19 results.

What do I do if my COVID-19 test is positive?

Follow your physician’s instructions for treatment!

Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider.

  • Keep track of your symptoms.
  • If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get emergency medical care immediately.

See the CDC site: Stay home except to get medical care

How can I track my symptoms?

Texas Medical Association offers the following:

TMA Guides and FAQs

Symptom Tracker

Do I need separate orders and appointments for all of my family members?

Yes, each individual requesting a test needs his or her own doctor’s order and appointment.

I have been exposed to coronavirus but don't have any symptoms. Should I schedule an appointment?

It is best to call and consult with your doctor.

What do I do if I need to reschedule my test?

Please call your doctor’s office if you need to reschedule.

Where can I find more information on the novel coronavirus?

Where can a non-MCH patient obtain testing?

Testing for non-MCH patients can be located via this resource

Test Locations

ENHANCED SAFETY MEASURES NOW IN PLACE

Your safety is our number one priority.

If you are having respiratory symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath) or have been exposed to a COVID-positive individual, call your physician’s office prior to your appointment.

If your physician believes it is appropriate, your health needs could be addressed via a telemedicine / video visit.

SAFETY MEASURES IN OUR GENERAL CLINIC

    MASKS

    Per CDC guidelines, masks are required in a healthcare setting.  Please wear a mask over your mouth and nose for the entire time you are in the Clinic and on our campus.  We are committed to ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of our patients and staff while we continue to offer in-person patient visits.

    SOCIAL DISTANCING

    In our entrance, elevators, and waiting rooms.

    DISINFECTING

    All patient exam rooms are disinfected between each patient visit. All rooms, equipment, and surface areas that are being touched (counter-tops, doorknobs, exam chairs, computers, etc.) are disinfected frequently throughout each day.

    AIR FILTERING

    A combination of MERV 13 air filters and UV lighting is used to remove 1.0 – 3.0 micron size particles from the Clinic’s air (Viral droplet nuclei is accepted to be in the range of 1.0 – 5.0 microns).

    UV LIGHT SANITIZING

    The air conditioning system in our building was designed with UV lighting as a method to fight germs, mold and viruses. These UV lights are installed on every floor of the building and are on 24/7.  Additionally UV light sanitizing portable equipment is used throughout the Clinic.

MCH SATELLITE CLINIC

    SATELLITE CLINIC FOR SYMPTOMATIC OR EXPOSED PATIENTS

    For the protection of you, other patients and our employees, Medical Clinic of Houston has set-up a Satellite Clinic for our current patients who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been exposed to a COVID-positive individual. Patients scheduled to be seen in the Satellite Office will be seen by an MCH physician without compromising the safety of other patients and our employees. The Satellite Clinic has a completely separate entrance to the building, a separate waiting area, a separate set of exam rooms and air is converted to negative pressure – which means the air is not re-circulated in the clinic.

    INSTRUCTIONS FOR ACCESS TO THE SATELLITE CLINIC

    If you are scheduled to be seen in the Satellite Clinic, you access the Satellite Clinic directly from the 4th floor of our parking garage. The Satellite Clinic has a completely separate entrance and waiting area. Open parking is available adjacent to the Satellite Clinic (garage level 4) so you will be able to access the Satellite Clinic without the need to use an elevator, enter the Clinic’s main lobby, or use valet parking.

    THE SATELLITE CLINIC IS NOT A WALK-IN CLINIC

    Please do not report to the Satellite Clinic unless you are directed to do so by your physician’s office.

ADDITIONAL SAFETY MEASURES IMPLEMENTED IN OUR SATELLITE CLINIC

    STAFF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)

    The physicians and clinical personnel (RN /LVN /MA) will be wearing full PPE to include gowns, gloves, and face/eye shields with masks.

    DISINFECTING

    In addition to the daily disinfecting of all patient exam rooms, manual disinfecting occurs between each patient visit.  A portable UV Light is used in each room for 30 minutes as an additional precaution.

    NON RECYCLED AIR  – UTILIZING NEGATIVE AIR PRESSURE

    In order to reduce the risk for transmission of airborne infectious diseases, the Satellite Clinic has been re-engineered to mechanically provide a negative pressure environment, which is commonly used for infection control to ensure infectious germs are not spread through an air conditioning system. Negative pressure causes more air to be removed from the room than that which is allowed into the room.

    As clean air flows into the Satellite Clinic, existing air is exhausted, thru a hepa filter, to the outside, preventing re-circulation of this air into any part of the Clinic building. This non-re-circulation of air is to further protect patients, physicians, and Clinic staff.

TESTING RELATED TO COVID-19

Please discuss these tests with your physician prior to having them performed.

*Should an individual have insurance coverage, fees related to these tests will vary based on the insurance company’s contractual agreement with MCH.

COVID-19 TESTS & FEES

A Swab test must be scheduled with your physician and may be performed while remaining in your vehicle (parked on the garage 4th floor) or in the Satellite Clinic (location determined by your physician).

MCH offers two different standalone molecular tests (Swab Tests) to determine if someone is actively infected with COVID-19. Detecting the genetic (molecular) information is only possible if the virus is there and someone is actively infected.

The Isothermal molecular test utilizes a proven next-generation molecular technology that uses proprietary enzymes and constant temperature, providing the fastest processing time of highly sensitive molecular tests.

The Isothermal molecular tests (CPT code: 87635) are performed in our MCH Laboratory: Self pay* price is $102.62.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) molecular test utilizes heat instead of proprietary enzymes. PCR tests are used to detect the presence of an antigen, rather than the presence of the body’s immune response, or antibodies. PCR tests detect the genetic information of the virus, the RNA. By detecting viral RNA, which will be present in the body before antibodies form or symptoms of the disease are present; the test can tell whether or not someone has the virus very early on. PCR gives us a good indication of who is infected. Infected individuals can be isolated and get in contact with people they’ve been in touch with so these individuals can be quarantined too.

The standalone PCR test (CPT code: U0003 / 87635) is sent to LabCorp.  LabCorp bills patients directly.

There is an MCH visit and specimen collection fee (CPT 99211) in addition to either of the COVID-19 test fees. Self pay* price is $40.60.

In some circumstances your physician may order additional tests beyond the basic COVID-19 test. These additional tests, used to identify infections with similar symptoms, are performed in the Laboratory at Medical Clinic of Houston, L.L.P.:

Rapid Flu, A&B test (CPT code 87502): Self-pay* price is $125.00

Strep A Screen test (CPT code 87651): Self-pay* price is $109.94

“BioFire” Respiratory Panel test includes up to 22 different tests for various infections which may cause respiratory illness, including the SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19 (CPT code 0202U).  Self-pay* price is $1,244.10

SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19 Antibody Testing

While antibody tests can provide evidence of previous or current infection, the test is not for use in the diagnosis of acute COVID-19 disease but may be useful for determination of a recent infection.  Antibody (serology) tests indicate that the body produced an immune response to the virus, and it can take over a week for antibodies to form following infection; finally, it is not known whether the presence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 as detected in this test correlates with the individual’s immune system.

The MCH Laboratory performs in-house testing for total SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 antibodies.

COVID-19 antibody (serology) test (CPT code: 86769). Self-pay* price is $84.26

*Should an individual have insurance coverage, fees related to these tests will vary based on the insurance company’s contractual agreement with MCH.