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Talk to Patients About: How Vaccines Work - 12/04/2019

Ignorance is a well-known cause of vaccine hesitancy. Physicians can step into that void to teach patients about what vaccines are and why they’re important. That includes information about the risks and benefits of vaccines, how quickly illnesses spread, and the symptoms and complications of natural infection.


How Do Vaccines Prevent Us from Getting Sick? - 12/02/2019

Vaccines work to prevent people from catching infectious diseases. Here’s how: They introduce a dead or weakened version of the virus or bacteria to train our natural defenses to kick in. If our body faces a real threat from the live germ later, the immune system is armed to block it from harming us.


Science: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism; Physicians Fight to Reassure, Immunize - 11/19/2019

Physicians repeat it over and over: Vaccines like the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine do not cause autism; they are safe and effective. Yet the decades-old false claim that vaccines do cause autism has convinced millions of parents not to give their children potentially lifesaving shots and could lead more to opt out, according to Texas physicians.


Above-Average Flu Activity Throughout Texas; One Pediatric Death Reported - 11/18/2019

Confirmed and possible cases of flu and flu-like illnesses have risen significantly across Texas in recent weeks, state health officials said, with one death reported – a 5-year-old who lived in the Rio Grande Valley.


Is Your School a Vaccine-Exemption Hot Spot? - 11/13/2019

Students have returned to public schools across the state, and most parents have ensured that their children have all the necessary immunizations. But an ever-growing number have not.


TMA Foundation Grants Support Better Health Across Texas - 11/07/2019

Residents of eight Texas counties will benefit from nearly $22,500 in Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF) grant funding to help them live better, healthier lives. TMAF recently awarded funds to four county medical societies and three county chapters of the TMA Alliance (a volunteer, community service and advocacy organization comprising physicians, spouses, and partners).


Talk to Patients About: The Autism Myth - 11/04/2019

It’s hard to find a medical myth that’s been more thoroughly debunked than the notion that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism. But this mountain of evidence doesn’t stop anti-vaccine advocates from recycling this myth, which dates back to 1998.


Keeping Outbreaks at Bay: El Paso's High Vaccination Rate Pays Off - 11/01/2019

"El Paso’s 2019 Measles Outbreak Hits 5,000 Cases.” That headline was never written and – thanks in part to dedicated work by El Paso physicians and health care workers – never will be.


West Nile Cases Rising in Texas; One Death Confirmed - 10/29/2019

State health officials have confirmed 19 cases of West Nile illness in Texas this year, including one death. Most of the confirmed cases have been identified in El Paso with 13, according to data from the Department of State Health Services. Other cases have been confirmed in Brazoria, Floyd, Hale, Harris, Nolan, and Tarrant counties.


Talk to Patients About: Flu - 10/24/2019

Flu is serious, and the vaccine can prevent or minimize the illness.


Why Vaccine Opponents Think They Know More Than Medical Experts - 10/24/2019

Given the consistent message from the scientific community about the safety of vaccines, and evidence of vaccine success as seen through the eradication of diseases, why has the skepticism about vaccines continued? One possibility is that attitudes about medical experts help to explain the endorsement of anti-vax attitudes ... that some U.S. adults might support anti-vax policy positions in part because they believe they know more than medical experts about autism and its causes.


Pertussis (Whooping Cough) - 10/22/2019

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.


Medical Students Win TMA Foundation Grants to Help Texans - 10/21/2019

Texans in cities across the state will benefit from nearly $27,000 in Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF) grant funding awarded to budding physicians for health-improvement projects.


TMA Grants Will Help Texans Fight Flu - 10/18/2019

As early flu season predictions suggest this one might be rough, people in communities across Texas will be protected from influenza, or flu, thanks to grants from the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) Be Wise – ImmunizeSM program. TMA has awarded more than $30,000 in grants to physicians, TMA Alliance (TMAA) volunteers, and medical student chapters to provide flu shots at no cost to uninsured and underinsured Texans in their hometowns.


Another Dubious Distinction: Texas Tops Unvaccinated List - 10/11/2019

According to WalletHub, Texas is No. 50 on its “2019's States that Vaccinate the Most” report, which also includes the District of Columbia. The report analyzed 18 key metrics – from share of vaccinated children to people without health insurance, and reported outbreaks such as measles – to determine each state’s ranking.


Connect to Your Community Through A Vaccination Clinic - 10/10/2019

Sometimes, health care is most effective when you bring it to patients, instead of waiting for them to come to you. That’s exactly what students at The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School did when they organized a pertussis vaccination clinic this spring with help from a grant from the Texas Medical Association’s Be Wise – Immunize program.


State Health Advisory: New Syphilis Testing Requirements During Pregnancy In Effect - 10/04/2019

As of Sept. 1, Texas physicians are required to test pregnant women for syphilis three times: at the first prenatal visit, during the third trimester (no sooner than the 28th week), and at delivery. Previously, state law required testing at the first visit and during the third trimester.


Talk to Patients About: Measles Update - 10/01/2019

Measles outbreaks in the U.S. were once a rare event, but in 2019 they turned into a potential public health crisis. Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 8, more than 1,200 cases of the deadly disease – which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared eradicated in America in 2000 – have been confirmed in 30 states.


Help Patients Be Wise About Flu Shots - 09/24/2019

Influenza has been particularly memorable during the past two seasons. The 2018-19 season was the longest in a decade, lasting 21 weeks, while 2017-18 saw a record 186 pediatric flu-related deaths, including 17 in Texas. As we begin another flu season, the Texas Medical Association’s Be Wise – Immunize program offers tools to help you make this one unremarkable.


New Trustees Join TMA Foundation Board - 09/12/2019

The Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF) announces six new appointments to the TMAF Board of Trustees. Three physicians, two medical students, and a community leader will attend their first board meeting this week at the Texas Medical Association (TMA) Fall Conference. TMAF is the philanthropic arm of TMA, the nation’s largest state medical society.


Be Wise — Immunize Local Impact Grants - 09/11/2019

Apply for a grant. TMA’s Be Wise — ImmunizeSM is accepting applications for local vaccination programs.


Talk to Patients About: Vaccines During Pregnancy - 09/04/2019

Protecting moms and babies from certain diseases often starts with pregnant women. Child-bearing women may not realize they pass on disease-fighting antibodies to their babies, protecting them early in life. That protection improves greatly when women get certain vaccines before and during pregnancy. They also may not realize getting vaccinated right after pregnancy can stop the spread of illnesses.  


Disease Reporting in Texas: What You Need to Do - 08/23/2019

You’re most likely aware that you are required to report certain health conditions, diseases, and outbreaks – known as “reportable” or “notifiable” conditions. This helps local, state, and federal health officials to track and study those conditions. But you might not be aware of all of the conditions you are required to report, or how, when, and to whom.


Measles: Updated Information and Resources Available to Fight Rising Cases - 08/16/2019

As measles cases continue to rise in Texas and across the U.S., the Texas Medical Association and Texas Hospital Association have created a document to help physicians and other health care professionals combat the highly contagious respiratory illness. The document provides the latest recommendations for diagnosing and reporting measles, immunizations, infection prevention and control, and post-exposure prophylaxis and exclusion.


Talk to Patients About: Hib - 08/12/2019

Talk to your patients about Haemophilus influenzae type b – or Hib, which, despite its name, does not cause influenza. However, Hib causes several severe illnesses, particularly meningitis, mostly in children younger than 5.