Immunization

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.  


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: Tetanus - 08/02/2019

Almost all U.S. tetanus cases occur among people who are unvaccinated or did not receive a booster shot, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Talk to Patients About: Hepatitis B - 08/02/2019

There are six different vaccines for hepatitis B in the United States, so there’s no shortage of tools to prevent it. Yet in 2016, more than 1,698 people in this country – and more than 780,000 worldwide – died from this viral liver infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization.


Talk to Patients About: Meningococcal B - 08/02/2019

Meningococcal B (MenB) vaccine is the new kid on the block for children and adolescents, having won Food and Drug Administration approval in 2014. This presents a problem for physicians: Because there is an older vaccine for the other types of meningococcal bacteria, many patients who’ve had that vaccine wrongly believe they’re also protected against MenB.


Effectively Counseling Patients Amid the Anti-Vaccination Movement - 08/02/2019

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: Diphtheria - 08/02/2019

Most people know little about diphtheria today thanks to the effectiveness of its vaccine. But fear of this highly contagious bacterial infection – which chokes off patients’ ability to breathe –  was once so strong that it accidentally gave birth to a major sporting event: the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race.


Goodbye to Polio - 08/02/2019

Polio has all but vanished. For one Texas physician, memories of it never will.


Talk to Patients About: Hib - 08/02/2019

Despite its name, Haemophilus influenzae type b – or Hib – doesn’t cause influenza. In the 1890s, doctors thought this bacteria might cause flu and – despite later research showing flu is caused by a virus – the name stuck. But Hib does cause several severe illnesses, mostly among children under 5 years old. Meningitis is the most common.


Build Immunization Awareness During August - 08/01/2019

If you weren’t already aware, August is National Immunization Awareness Month. As a physician, you’re aware of how important vaccines are for public health. But some of your patients might not know or understand the benefits of getting vaccinated. Whether you’re talking to parents of young children, senior citizens, or anyone in between, TMA’s Be Wise – Immunize has some tools you can use.


Measles Update: 17 Cases in 12 Texas Counties in 2019 - 07/18/2019

Public health officials are investigating two reported cases of measles in El Paso, bringing the state's total to 17 cases since the beginning of 2019.