Coronavirus

CDC Recommends COVID Vaccines for Kids as Young as 6 Months - 06/21/2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended two COVID-19 vaccines that now can be used for children between 6 months and 5 years old, meaning physicians and other vaccinators can begin giving those shots – and they’re now available for ordering through the state’s Vaccine Allocation & Ordering System.


State Webinar: COVID Vaccines for Kids Under 5 - 06/17/2022

The Texas Department of State Health Services is holding its latest Texas Vaccine Provider Webinar, focusing on the launch of COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5, today from noon to 1:30 pm CT.


Feds Declare “Long COVID” a Disability - 06/10/2022

Although the pandemic rages on, there may be some relief in sight for people with lingering effects from COVID 19 infection – or “long COVID” – as well as consequences for the physicians who treat and employ them. The Biden administration in late


Preorder COVID Vaccines for Ages 6 Months to 5 Years - 06/03/2022

State health authorities are asking COVID-19 vaccinators who will immunize children from ages 6 months through 5 years to preorder the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that will collectively serve that age group once they’re approved.


CDC: COVID “Rebound” Chance Doesn’t Affect Paxlovid Recommendation - 05/31/2022

Despite the possibility of a symptom recurrence after a COVID-19 patient is treated with Paxlovid, that antiviral drug remains recommended for initial COVID treatment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in a recent health alert.


“Black Robes, Not White Coats”: Can Courts Compel Unproven Treatments? - 05/31/2022

COVID-19 patients and their families have involved judges and attorneys in an effort to compel physicians to treat the disease in unproven ways, against their medical judgment. And in some cases around the country, patients’ families have been successful in getting a court order to do so. The Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Patient-Physician Advocacy, while not directly involved in such cases, has a keen interest in making sure physicians can exercise their medical judgment.


“Fight the Good Fight:” Fleeger Awarded TMA’s Highest Honor - 05/31/2022

The Texas Medical Association bestowed its highest honor upon Austin colon and rectal surgeon David C. Fleeger, MD, for his confident leadership during difficult times and his longtime advocacy for medicine at the state and national levels.


Public Health Emergency’s End Would Kickstart Medicaid Eligibility Re-Checks. Here’s How to Prepare - 05/20/2022

After strong advocacy by the American Medical Association and other organizations, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services appears poised to extend the COVID-19 public health emergency for a 10th time.


CDC Signs Off on COVID Booster for Ages 5-11 - 05/20/2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s immunization advisory committee has approved Pfizer COVID-19 booster doses for children aged 5 to 11.


Vaccine Equity Gains: COVID-19 Vaccine Rate Disparities Narrow Amid Physician-Led Outreach - 05/13/2022

When the COVID-19 vaccine rollout began in mid-December 2020, many physicians, advocates, and community leaders worried the health disparities laid bare by the pandemic would repeat themselves.  But improved data collection and innovative outreach efforts – many of them led by Texas physicians and medical students – have helped close these gaps.


Deadlines Approaching for COVID Relief Fund Late-Reporting - 05/13/2022

If you got a loan from the federal COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund’s (PRF’s) first reporting period and requested to report your funds late, watch out for the government’s response to that request. And, if you got a loan from the fund’s second reporting period, good news: The deadline to request to report late has been extended – but you’ll have to act fast.


Texas Physician COVID Profiles - 05/10/2022

Read about the experiences of some Texas physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Talk to Patients About: Should I Get Vaccinated if I’ve Had COVID-19? - 05/01/2022

There is a lot of misinformation about vaccines, so each month Texas Medicine highlights common concerns that patients raise about immunizations. This material is designed to help you talk to your patients and help them understand the benefits of vaccines. Find


Commissioned With Change : An Interview With HHSC Commissioner Cecile Erwin Young - 05/01/2022

As leader of the state’s largest agency, Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Cecile Erwin Young is faced with some of the largest health care challenges among some of the most vulnerable patient populations. She visited the Texas Medical Association’s Winter Conference in late January to talk to Texas physicians about their concerns in caring for those patients, especially during a pandemic.


Leaders in the News: TMA Physicians Maximize Media Appearances - 05/01/2022

Since the pandemic began more than two years ago, TMA has deployed go-to people in media outlets across not just the state but also the nation and even the world. TMA’s trusted distillation of important information on public health measures, vaccines, and testing has raised physician leaders’ profiles, and invited both positive attention from believers in medicine and negative attention from anti-science forces.


Talk to Patients About: Natural Immunity vs. Vaccine Immunity for COVID-19 - 05/01/2022

Catching COVID-19 can provide people with a degree of immunity from being reinfected with the disease in the future. This prompts some to opt against vaccination and instead risk getting sick to obtain this “natural immunity” on the assumption they will get a mild case and it will protect them from future illness.


Mandatory Monthly COVID Vaccine Inventory Reporting Starts in May - 04/22/2022

Beginning in May, COVID-19 vaccinators will be required to make monthly reports of their vaccine inventory by the fifth of each month, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has told Texas Medicine Today.


Payer Flexibilities Continue With COVID Emergency Extension - 04/21/2022

The U.S. Department of Health and Services’ extension of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) until July 15, 2022, means many of the waivers that public and private payers instituted remain in place.


Feds Dole Out Millions More in Fourth Phase of COVID Relief Fund - 04/12/2022

The fourth phase of the federal government’s Provider Relief Fund continues to help out medical practices impacted by COVID-19, with federal health authorities recently announcing yet another round of funding to more than 3,600 practitioners nationwide.


FDA Cancels Authorization to Treat COVID With Sotrovimab - 04/06/2022

The monoclonal antibody sotrovimab is no longer authorized to treat COVID-19 in the U.S. following the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to pull its emergency use authorization.


Remdesivir Available for Outpatient Use to Treat COVID-19 - 04/05/2022

The antiviral medication remdesivir is now available for outpatient use in combating COVID-19, and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has sent a letter to COVID therapeutic administrators explaining how they can order the medication from the state’s distributor.


Texas Practitioners Get $100 Million in Latest COVID Provider Relief Distribution - 04/05/2022

Federal health authorities are once again disbursing billions through the Provider Relief Fund, with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announcing distribution of about $2 billion more in Phase 4 of the program, including more than $100 million to Texas health care practitioners.


New COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Gets FDA Emergency Authorization - 04/05/2022

There’s a new COVID-19 therapeutic on the market that has shown promise in fighting the omicron variant, and state health officials say it’s already in distribution across Texas.


Texas’ Black Physicians Lead Through Vaccine Education, Mentorship in Their Communities - 04/05/2022

Black physicians in Texas have a long history of community involvement, and COVID-19 has at once created more opportunities and underscored the importance of that work.


Emergency Doc Finds Building Patient Trust More Difficult During COVID - 04/05/2022

As the COVID-19 pandemic languishes into its third year, physicians continue to bear the brunt of its impact, from unpredictable surges to worsening burnout. Craig Meek, MD, an emergency medicine physician in East Texas and president of the Texas College of Emergency Physicians, has observed another more profound effect, which he suspects is changing the profession in irrevocable ways.