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Avoid the Yuletide Flu Tide: Emphasize Flu Shots With Your Patients - 11/30/2021

The last influenza season may have been light, but don’t let that prompt you to take this season lightly when consulting with your patients about flu shots.


Updated Booster FAQs for You and Your Patients - 11/30/2021

Shortly before Thanksgiving, federal health authorities approved booster shots for all adults either six months after their initial two-shot Pfizer or Moderna series, or two months after taking the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. And on Nov. 29, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky took it one step further, recommending boosters for all adults (using those same timetables) in light of the emerging omicron variant.


Turn It Off Today Toolkit - 11/30/2021

TMA invites Texas families to pledge to Turn It Off Today, and take break from electronic devices. 


State Encourages CDC Infection Control Training for Frontline Workers - 11/24/2021

With infection control now occupying center stage in health care, state health officials are promoting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Project Firstline training videos on infection prevention, hoping the trainings reach all of Texas’ frontline health care workers.


Making the Right Call: CPAN Helps Physicians Improve Behavioral Health - 11/24/2021

IN THE 19 MONTHS since the Texas Child Psychiatry Access Network (CPAN) has been up and running, it’s kept any number of minor problems from becoming major ones.


Keep Holidays Merry: Get Your Flu Shot Now - 11/23/2021

Seasonal flu, a frequent fall and winter visitor, didn’t make much of an appearance in 2020 with people isolating and defending themselves from germs by wearing masks and social distancing. Texas physicians say we may not be so lucky this year and, with upcoming holiday gatherings, urge everyone to get their annual influenza (flu) shot.


DSHS Report: COVID Vaccines Dramatically Prevent Infection and Deaths - 11/16/2021

Texas physicians have strongly encouraged patients to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and a new report from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has confirmed why that advice is sound.


Remind Families to Vaccinate Against Pertussis, Flu as Holidays Approach - 11/16/2021

As families reunite this holiday season, perhaps for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Texas Medical Association leaders say it’s time to remind them that infants need protection, too, from a public health threat that long predates the coronavirus: pertussis, or whooping cough.


TMA Helps Craft Amendment Guaranteeing In-Person Visitation in Nursing Homes - 11/15/2021

In overwhelmingly voting for nursing home residents to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation, Texas voters aligned themselves with a critical balance the Texas Medical Association helped lawmakers strike between the need for crucial emotional support in those settings and keeping public health threats at bay.


Pediatric and Adolescent COVID Vaccines Are Not the Same, DSHS Cautions Vaccinators - 11/12/2021

Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine recently authorized for 5- to 11-year-olds is a different version from the drugmaker’s vaccine for adolescents and adults that comes with different storage and dosage requirements, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is cautioning pediatric vaccinators.


Questions About COVID Vaccine Boosters? TMA Has an FAQ for That - 11/12/2021

Now that booster shots for the COVID-19 vaccine have been approved, you are probably getting questions from your patients and have some of your own. The Texas Medical Association has you covered with two new resources.


TMA Grants Can Help Your Practice Improve Local Vaccination Rates - 11/03/2021

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. 


CDC Recommends Pfizer COVID Pediatric Vaccine for Ages 5-11 - 11/03/2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) immunization panel and the agency’s director signed off Tuesday on recommending the Pfizer COVID-19 pediatric vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, allowing millions of children to receive their first shots against the disease.


Caring for Generation COVID: Pandemic Takes Increasing Toll on Kids' Mental Health - 11/03/2021

In addition to the devastating COVID-19 surge fueled by the delta variant, pediatricians like Valerie Smith, MD, and other specialists caring for children point to a shadow pandemic among young patients. The proportion of mental health-related visits for children is on the rise.


Ask the Expert: Requiring Employee COVID Testing - 11/03/2021

In light of a recent governor’s executive order banning COVID-19 vaccine requirements, physician practices may be wondering if instead they can require weekly COVID-19 testing from their employees.


Social Determinants Undermine Patient Health - 11/02/2021

For many patients, roadblocks like a broken air conditioner neglected by the landlord  are the social determinants of health that impact their well-being and quality of life, and can harm their health. Physicians say the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic also revealed how deeply social determinants disproportionately affect certain populations. For example, due to chronic structural inequities that affect wellbeing, such as safe housing, access to medical care, and certain jobs that carry a higher risk of disease exposure, COVID-19 has disproportionately sickened, hospitalized, and killed people of color and those with low incomes.


TMA Airs Pro-Vaccine Ads During Political Conventions - 11/01/2021

“Vaccines defend what matters – our health, jobs, families.” A new Texas Medical Association (TMA) ad campaign featuring that message will air during the Democratic and Republican conventions to remind Texans of the many ways vaccinations protect us.


Preventable Pain: COVID Surge, Anti-Vax Sentiments Compound Physicians' Turmoil on the Job - 11/01/2021

Pushback from patients on medical advice and course of treatment is nothing new. But physicians say the degree of it – a lack of trust in science, medicine, and expertise – has never been as pronounced as it is now, in the era of the highly contagious delta variant, widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines, and millions of people who simply refuse to avail themselves of them. And it’s piling onto the already-existing assaults on physician mental well-being – now increasingly framed as physician “moral injury.”


Ebola Treatment, Containment Facilities on Tap - 10/29/2021

In the wake of last week's announcement that a New York doctor who returned from Guinea tested positive for Ebola, public health professionals and hospitals have remained vigilant in preparing to respond to potential future cases of the disease.


Texas Physicians Fighting Potential Zika Epidemic - 10/29/2021

With cases of local Zika virus transmission now being reported in Florida, Texas physicians and state officials are preparing to confront inevitable local transmission here, reports Texas Medicine magazine.


Texas Newborn Screening Fee Increase Coming in 2022 - 10/26/2021

Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, the cost of each kit in the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Texas Newborn Screening Program will go up slightly to accommodate the inclusion of spinal muscular atrophy screening, a leading genetic cause of death in infants and toddlers.


Payer Flexibilities Continue With COVID Emergency Extension - 10/26/2021

The U.S. Department of Health and Services’ extension of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) until Jan. 16, 2022, means many of the waivers that public and private payers instituted remain in place.


TMA Defeats Bills to Ban Vaccine Mandates - 10/25/2021

Thanks to physician-led grassroots advocacy, the Texas Medical Association beat back bills that aimed to codify Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent executive order banning vaccine mandates. Those bills had failed to advance out of their respective chambers when the Texas Legislature adjourned from its third special session of the year on Oct. 19.


TMA Wins Several COVID Relief Funding Asks - 10/22/2021

The Texas Legislature’s distribution of billions in federal COVID-19 relief funding displayed a commitment to many – though not all – of the Texas Medical Association’s desired uses for the money, including investments in child mental health care and improving maternal mental health access.


TMA White Paper: Does COVID-19 Vaccine Passport Ban Affect Your Practice? - 10/21/2021

If you run a business, any business – including a medical practice – you may be subject to Texas’ new law barring businesses from requiring customers to produce COVID-19 vaccine documentation – now known in common parlance as a “vaccine passport.”