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State Board Finalizes Medically Accurate Health Education Standards - 11/23/2020

Thanks to an organized push by the Texas Medical Association and its physician members, the State Board of Education last week approved new Texas curriculum standards that include more comprehensive and medically accurate instruction on multiple health-related topics.


Effectively Counseling Patients Amid the Anti-Vaccination Movement - 11/20/2020

Primary care physicians are at the frontline of the annual battle against influenza. Many patients arrive at their clinician’s office with erroneous information about the vaccine and have already decided to refuse their flu shot before they walk through the clinic doors. In response, practices and providers across the country have amplified their efforts.


Talk to Patients About: ACIP - 11/20/2020

Two federal agencies oversee the way vaccines reach the U.S. public. But only one of them guides physicians on the best way to use those vaccines. That agency is the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the way private companies develop and produce vaccines.)


State Board Could Remove Vaccine Education From Public Schools - 11/17/2020

There is still time to tell your state education board member to reject any amendments to the immunization language in the draft Health Education TEKS, and to ensure future generations of Texas children are informed on the importance of vaccines to overall health.


Talk to Patients About: Vaccine Testing - 10/30/2020

The COVID-19 vaccines currently under production are expected to reach the public faster than any previous vaccine. But no matter how quickly a vaccine is produced, it still must pass a series of rigorous scientific tests before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will license it for public use.


More than Ever, Flu Shots are Critical to a Healthy Texas - 10/30/2020

2020 has been a hard year. The COVID-19 pandemic has killed our loved ones, made many Texans sick, and upended our lives. Now we’re facing another big threat – flu season.


Vaccination Social Media Toolkit - 09/30/2020

The Texas Medical Association’s Be Wise – ImmunizeSM program has created a variety of shareable social media assets to help you convey that vaccinations for children and adults are important, safe, and effective. Please click on the links below to save and share to your social media pages.


What Does Be Wise — Immunize Offer for Physicians? - 09/28/2020

Be Wise can help you implement or enhance vaccination practices in your office with our vaccination toolkits and continuing medical education courses; educate about vaccines in your office, in the media, or at public gatherings such as parent-teacher associations and civic organizations; and more!


Education Board Approves Curriculum Standards on HPV Vaccines - 09/15/2020

The State Board of Education has approved health education standards that would require public schools to teach the importance of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines beginning in seventh grade.


Talk to Patients About: Texas School Vaccines - 09/07/2020

Regardless of whether education takes place virtually or in-person, Texas school vaccination rules remain in effect for the 2020-21 school year, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. All Texas public schools (and most private schools) and colleges require students to have certain shots before they can attend classes at the beginning of a school year.


New TMA Ads Remind Texans of the Importance of Vaccines - 08/21/2020

In a new ad campaign that debuted during the Democratic National Convention, TMA reminds Texans of the many ways vaccinations protect us. A second ad will run Thursday, Aug. 27, during the closing night of the Republican National Convention.


Encourage School Vaccinations with Prewritten Letters to the Editor - 08/20/2020

To help you spread the word to families who might have missed or avoided vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Texas Medical Association’s Be Wise – Immunize program and the Texas Pediatric Society have created four prewritten letters to the editor you can send to your local newspaper.


Schools Can Exclude Students with Vax Opt-Outs In an Epidemic, TMA Says - 08/20/2020

If school districts during an epidemic want to exclude students who have declined vaccinations for reasons of conscience, both the law and public health considerations are on their side, the Texas Medical Association has told Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.


Urge Texans to Get Flu Vaccine Early, Officials Say - 08/06/2020

With flu season on the horizon – and the COVID-19 pandemic expected to continue – Texas physicians should strongly encourage patients to receive a flu vaccination as early as possible.


Talk to Patients About: What Is ImmTrac2? - 08/03/2020

ImmTrac2, Texas’ revised immunization registry, is designed to help people keep their vaccine records in order. Texas residents who sign up can have their immunization records stored for free, allowing physicians, schools, and other authorized people to see which shots a person has received and which ones they’ve missed.


How to Boost HPV Vaccination Rates During COVID-19 - 07/20/2020

Vaccinations for human papillomavirus (HPV) have plunged since COVID-19 hit Texas in March, but a new virtual project will help Northeast Texas physicians explore strategies for changing that trend. HPV Cancer Free Texas will provide seven monthly one-hour Project ECHO video conferences for CME credit to discuss best practices and evidence-based tools that encourage patients to get HPV vaccinations.


TMA Partners to Boost HPV Vaccination Rates - 07/15/2020

To help improve HPV vaccination rates, the Texas Medical Association joined with a coalition of more than 40 other organizations Tuesday to announce a renewed statewide immunization campaign to prevent HPV-related cancers.


Talk to Patients About: Why Will It Take So Long for a COVID-19 Vaccine? - 07/10/2020

Of all the solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, a vaccine is the most attractive. With just one shot, people could transform the disease from a global disruptor to an easily manageable public health problem. But vaccines can’t be whipped up overnight.


Talk to Patients About: What’s Wrong With Vaccine Exemptions? - 07/08/2020

In 2003, the Texas Legislature allowed parents to opt their children out of getting mandatory public school vaccines. Since then, exemptions have jumped more than 3,000%, to 72,743 statewide, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. That number of exemptions threatens “herd” or “community” immunity for vaccine-preventable diseases.


Talk to Patients About: Why is “Slowing” the Vaccine Schedule a Bad Idea? - 07/01/2020

Before an American child turns 2 years old, he or she will get 27 vaccinations – sometimes up to six shots in one doc-tor’s visit. For some parents, that seems like too much. The CDC schedule is designed to protect children early.


Texas Vaccine Registry to be Accessible Through EHRs - 06/26/2020

Texas physicians soon will have an easier time accessing and submitting vaccination records when using the Texas Immunization Registry (ImmTrac2), according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, which runs the registry.


New CME! Talk to Parents About Vaccine-Preventable Diseases - 06/17/2020

Talking to parents about vaccines can be challenging, especially with the anti-vaccine movement, and the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a decline in childhood vaccinations across the country. That’s why the Texas Medical Association has created a CME course to better prepare you for these conversations.


Talk to Patients About: Cleanliness vs. Vaccines - 03/31/2020

Historical data proves vaccines work. Year-over-year rates for vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and whooping cough show that the number of cases drops sharply and remains low after a vaccine is introduced. Anti-vaccine activists have a theory to explain away this data. They say the rise of cleanliness and hygiene in the late 1800s – not vaccines – was the real force in stopping these diseases.


In Defense of Public Health: Peter Hotez, MD, on the Comeback of Preventable Diseases - 03/31/2020

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.


Talk to Patients About: Vaccines During Pregnancy - 03/30/2020

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.