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COVID-19 Vaccines: FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization for Third Vaccine - 03/01/2021

The latest COVID-19 vaccines information as of March 1, 2021.


Improve Access to Immunizations - 03/01/2021

Vaccinations are important, safe, and effective. They defend our families, our community, and our economy from infectious diseases. The COVID 19 pandemic clearly illustrates what can happen when a vaccine does not exist to ward off a deadly infectious disease.


Staying the Course: Medicine Enters an Unprecedented Session at the Texas Legislature - 02/28/2021

The way the Texas Legislature conducts business during the 2021 session may look different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the Texas Medical Association’s commitment to improving health care remains the same. Some of those goals are up against deep cuts to state agency budgets. At the same time, however, the pandemic has created opportunities for medicine to bend lawmakers’ ear on some of its longstanding goals, including advancing access to care, vaccines, health coverage, and telemedicine.


Accelerating RPM: COVID-19 Speeds Adoption of Remote Patient Monitoring - 02/28/2021

Before March 2020, remote patient monitoring (RPM) was a tool endocrinologist Thomas Blevins, MD, used to help patients with diabetes track and regulate blood sugar levels and report the results back to him. But when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many doctors to turn to telemedicine, Dr. Blevins and the nine other physicians on staff at Austin Diabetes and Endocrinology had to rev up their RPM use.


Spotlight on Vaccines: Pandemic May Open Gateway to Improve Vaccination Rates in Texas - 02/27/2021

The uneven rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in December created at least one bright spot for Texas physicians: It highlighted how the state could make vaccination more efficient.


Texas Medicaid, CHIP Changes Extended Through March - 02/25/2021

Some Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) flexibilities put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, including authority to use telemedicine more broadly, have been extended through March, state health officials announced.   


TMA Grants Can Help Your Practice Improve Local Vaccination Rates - 02/23/2021

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. 


COVID-19 Vaccine Shipments Will Resume in Texas This Week - 02/23/2021

The latest COVID-19 vaccines information as of Feb. 23, 2021


Apply Now For A Grant to Promote Vaccines in Your Community - 02/23/2021

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 March 8.


FDA Authorizes Another Monoclonal Antibody Treatment - 02/12/2021

Physicians now have another option in the fight against COVID-19, thanks to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) this week of the combination of bamlanivimab and etesevimab.


COVID-19 Vaccines: Encourage Undocumented Immigrants to Receive Vaccines - 02/10/2021

The latest information on COVID-19 vaccines as of Feb. 10, 2021


Reminder: Physicians Must Order Second Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine - 02/10/2021

Physicians and facilities that administer COVID-19 vaccines should remember that the state will no longer automatically send second doses. Instead, physicians and facilities must request an allotment of second doses seven to 14 days after receiving first doses.


Pertussis (Whooping Cough) - 02/05/2021

Since the 1980s, pertussis cases in the United States have increased, especially among adolescents and adults. The best way to prevent pertussis infections among adolescents and adults is a Tdap booster.


Texas is No. 1 in “Hotspots” For Vaccine Exemptions - 02/05/2021

Houston, Fort Worth, Plano, and Austin are among the cities in the nation with the highest number of kindergartners who have not received vaccinations because of nonmedical reasons, according to the study published this week in the journal PLOS Medicine.


Ten Things to Know to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines - 02/04/2021

State health officials have begun distributing COVID-19 vaccines across the state, based on guiding principles that prioritize essential health care workers and vulnerable populations. Here are 10 things to know about administering vaccines manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.


Physicians Are Right to Avoid Wasting Vaccine - 02/04/2021

Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President Diana L. Fite, MD, and Harris County Medical Society President Gary J. Sheppard, MD, about situations physicians and health care workers might face when trying to administer all COVID-19 vaccine without wasting it. This issue emerged after Houston authorities leveled accusations against a local physician.


Hand Sanitizers From Mexico Likely to Contain Methanol, FDA Warns - 02/03/2021

Physician practices and other facilities should be aware that alcohol-based hand sanitizers imported from Mexico are likely to contain methanol, which can be toxic when absorbed through the skin, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in an import alert issued this week.


Significantly More COVID-19 Vaccines Delivered to Texas - 02/02/2021

The latest COVID-19 vaccine news as of Feb. 1, 2021


DFW, Galveston Health Programs Receive TMA Foundation Health Awards - 02/02/2021

Thousands of underserved Texans in Dallas/Fort Worth and Galveston will have access to health care, locally grown food, and COVID-19 testing thanks to the three special health care nonprofits presented the Texas Medical Association Foundation’s (TMAF’s) John P. McGovern Champion of Health Awards for 2021. TMAF presented the awards to the honorees on Saturday at the TMA Winter Conference, held virtually from Austin.


TMA Praises Governor’s Telemedicine, Broadband, Vaccine Priorities - 02/02/2021

Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President Diana L. Fite, MD, about the health care priorities Gov. Greg Abbott cited in his State of the State address.


Hungering for a Solution: Physicians Can Help Tackle Food Insecurity - 02/01/2021

Not long after COVID-19 hit Texas last March, pediatricians at Austin Regional Clinic (ARC) began screening patients for food insecurity. The timing was coincidental but fortunate given the pandemic’s economic toll.


A Class By Themselves: Texas’ Newest Med Schools Adjust to COVID-19 - 02/01/2021

Texas opened two new medical schools in July – the University of Houston College of Medicine in Houston and Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Conroe. Thanks to COVID-19, both opened under circumstances that would have seemed bizarre just a year ago.


Talk to Patients About: Vaccines and SIDS - 02/01/2021

Over the years, several vaccines have been blamed for SIDS, including those for pertussis, tetanus, diphtheria, Hemophilus influenzae type B, polio, and hepatitis B. This misconception has triggered a lot of scientific study to find out if vaccines could, in fact, cause SIDS. However, multiple studies and safety reviews have concluded that the answer is no, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


When the Fight Becomes Personal: Physicians Share Their Stories of Contracting COVID-19 - 02/01/2021

It’s no surprise that many physicians were among the more than 1.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in Texas last year. Texas Medicine spoke with three Texas physicians who contracted COVID-19 to learn how the disease affected them physically and impacted their outlook as caregivers.


Commentary: Hard Lessons Learned - 02/01/2021

Every pandemic is different, but I think there are some hard lessons we’ve learned during this process that we would be wise to take to heart. Below are what I consider three of the most important ones.