HHSC: COVID Vaccine Documentation Can’t Be Required for Medicaid Treatment - 09/22/2021

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is notifying practitioners who see Medicaid patients that those patients can’t be required to provide documentation of their COVID-19 vaccination status as a condition of receiving services under Texas Medicaid.

Biden Extends Vaccine Mandate to Health Care Workers - 09/13/2021

Texas Medical Association staff are busy analyzing President Joe Biden’s latest strategy to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control, which includes vaccination requirements for health care workers in all Medicare- and Medicaid-certified facilities.

CDC Recommends Pfizer Vaccine, Says More Data Needed on Boosters - 09/08/2021

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory group has recommended use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for people 16 and older after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued full approval on Aug. 23.

Fight Vaccine Hesitancy With These Physician Tips - 08/25/2021

There is plenty of opportunity for discussions around vaccine hesitancy in Texas, where only 55% of people 12 and older are fully vaccinated, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. This puts Texas below the national average of 60%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Apply by Sept. 1: Start a Vaccine Clinic with TMAF Local Impact Grant - 08/23/2021

As part of the Texas Medical Association’s Vaccines Defend What Matters campaign, the TMA Foundation offers grants of up to $3,500 to fund vaccination activities, educational resources, and community outreach events. The final round of those 2021 Local Impact Grants is now open for applications.

Effectively Counseling Patients Amid the Anti-Vaccination Movement - 08/20/2021

Even before COVID-19, Stephen Line, DO, faced vaccine hesitancy from patients when it came to the flu or other infectious diseases. Here, he talks about the technique of motivational interviewing that he used then, and that can be still used now, to help you understand your patients' fears.

Get to Know Texas’ New and Improved Immunization Tracking Service - 08/06/2021

The Texas Department of State Health Services ImmTrac2 immunization registry securely and confidentially consolidates and stores Texans’ immunization records in one place.

TMA Grants Can Help Your Practice Improve Local Vaccination Rates - 07/30/2021

Apply for a grant. Vaccines Defend What Matters (formerly Be Wise – Immunize) is TMA’s integrated, multimedia public health education and advocacy effort to overcome vaccine hesitancy and increase vaccination rates in Texas. 

Apply Now For A Grant to Promote Vaccines in Your Community - 07/30/2021

The TMA Foundation is offering local impact grants of up to $3,500 to fund vaccination activities, educational resources, and community outreach events. County medical societies, TMA Alliance chapters, medical student chapters, and TMA member-physician practices/clinics can apply for a grant before June 1.

TMA Urges Student Masking, Vaccination as Delta Variant Spreads - 07/29/2021

With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations spiking due to the delta variant, TMA and state physician and health care groups are calling for student protections that include masking and vaccination as they head back to school. 

DSHS Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Pop-Up Events - 07/27/2021

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is responding to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations with a series of vaccination pop-up events at Walmart locations across Texas.

Catching Up After COVID-19: Using Well-Child Visits - 07/03/2021

U.S. children usually visit a physician on a set schedule through their teen years. COVID-19 made a mess of that schedule, and Texas physicians are trying to help families address the health care fallout before school starts again in the fall.

Vaccine Passports Are Coming - 06/22/2021

"A vaccine passport is really nothing more than proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Many businesses, organizations, and even countries are starting to require proof of vaccination as a form of pay to play," writes Sidney Roberts, MD, in this blog post.

Give Parents the Facts on Adolescents and the Pfizer Vaccine With This TMA Flyer - 06/22/2021

Now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends COVID-19 vaccination for anyone 12 years and older, you’re likely fielding questions from parents about the importance and safety of administering the vaccine to their kids. That’s why TMA’s Outpatient Workgroup created a flyer in English and Spanish with important, to-the-point information about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for adolescents. 

WHO Produces Easier Naming System for SARS-CoV-2 Variants - 06/22/2021

Viruses like SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, produce different variants – versions that accumulate enough mutations to make them distinct from the original virus. Remembering the names of those variants just got a little easier for patients thanks to a World Health Organization naming system based on Greek letters.

Talk to Patients About: Vaccines and Residual Materials - 05/31/2021

Vaccines are scientifically proven to be safe and effective, so anti-vaccination efforts tend to steer the public away from science and data and toward unfamiliar aspects of vaccines that may sound scary. One frequent distraction involves residual materials – small amounts of the ingredients used to make the vaccine.

Talk to Patients About: Vaccines and Additives - 05/25/2021

Many additives sound toxic, like aluminum and formaldehyde. Others sound strange, like squalene, which is made mostly from shark liver oil. But vaccine additives pose little threat of harm.

Delegates Vote to Combat Vaccine Hesitancy, Barriers to Care, Climate Change - 05/21/2021

Even with a pandemic in the background, the Texas Medical Association House of Delegates managed to take important action on several other hot-button public health issues, including sobriety requirements for medical treatment, immigration, race, and climate change.

House Passes Prior Auth, ImmTrac2 Improvements - 05/14/2021

A pair of big wins capped a successful past week for medicine, as the Texas House of Representatives on Friday afternoon signed off on both curbing the impositions of prior authorization and updating the state’s immunization registry.

DSHS Now Shipping COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Daily, Not Weekly - 05/11/2021

Thanks to increased COVID-19 vaccine availability, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has begun filling orders for vaccine doses as they come in, rather than on a weekly basis, the agency recently announced.

Peter Hotez, MD, at TexMed: Help Patients Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy - 05/05/2021

Physicians know that vaccines are one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, and vaccines help keep people and the economy healthy. Yet some Texans are hesitant to be vaccinated and are questioning if they should get vaccinated against COVID-19.

In Defense of Public Health: Peter Hotez, MD, on the Comeback of Preventable Diseases - 05/05/2021

Preventable diseases are back on the map, and Peter Hotez, MD, Texas’ most outspoken vaccine researcher, says physicians need to think globally to help stop the trend.

Trouble With COVID-19 Data Entry? The Texas Military Department Can Help - 05/04/2021

Many physicians offering COVID-19 vaccines face unfamiliar administrative chores, including reporting vaccinations to ImmTrac2, the state’s vaccine registry.

I Think I'll Wait: Talking Through Vaccine Hesitancy - 05/02/2021

How to validate patients’ concerns and promote COVID-19 vaccination.

Texas Resumes Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Administration - 04/26/2021

The latest COVID-19 vaccines information as of April 26, 2021