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HHSC: COVID Vaccine Documentation Can’t Be Required for Medicaid Treatment - 09/22/2021

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is notifying practitioners who see Medicaid patients that those patients can’t be required to provide documentation of their COVID-19 vaccination status as a condition of receiving services under Texas Medicaid.


ACIP Flu Guidelines: Vaccinate Young Children as Soon as Possible - 09/21/2021

When it comes to preventing influenza, particularly in the middle of a pandemic, the key takeaway among this year’s recommendations from the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) involves vaccines and timing, says Alan Howell, MD, an infectious disease specialist in Temple and a member of the Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Infectious Diseases.


COVID-19 Surge Revives Need for Awareness on Monoclonal Antibody Treatments - 09/17/2021

With COVID-19 cases spiking again across Texas, public health officials are urging physicians to acquaint themselves with the criteria for patients who can receive monoclonal antibody therapy.


CDC: Lightly Researched THC Compound May Lurk in CBD Products - 09/15/2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning physicians, public health departments, and others about insufficiently labeled cannabidiol (CBD) products that may contain a certain compound of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that creates the psychotropic high for marijuana users.


Biden Extends Vaccine Mandate to Health Care Workers - 09/13/2021

Texas Medical Association staff are busy analyzing President Joe Biden’s latest strategy to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control, which includes vaccination requirements for health care workers in all Medicare- and Medicaid-certified facilities.


Update: Enrollment Closes This Week For COVID-19 Antibody Response Survey - 09/10/2021

Texans between the ages of 5 and 80 can sign up to help The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) in its ongoing effort to improve science’s understanding of COVID-19 through the Texas Coronavirus Antibody Response Survey (Texas CARES).


CDC Recommends Pfizer Vaccine, Says More Data Needed on Boosters - 09/08/2021

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory group has recommended use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for people 16 and older after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued full approval on Aug. 23.


SHACs and School Reopening: Webinar Sept. 23 - 09/07/2021

Action For Healthy Kids is hosting a series of webinars on school health advisory councils (SHACs). The councils are volunteer advisory panels physicians can join to help ensure school districts’ health programs reflect local community values.


Commentary: This Is Different - 08/31/2021

As physicians we’re used to encountering illness on a daily basis. And 18 months in, COVID-19 illnesses are unfortunately all too familiar.


Fight Vaccine Hesitancy With These Physician Tips - 08/25/2021

There is plenty of opportunity for discussions around vaccine hesitancy in Texas, where only 55% of people 12 and older are fully vaccinated, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. This puts Texas below the national average of 60%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Apply by Sept. 1: Start a Vaccine Clinic with TMAF Local Impact Grant - 08/23/2021

As part of the Texas Medical Association’s Vaccines Defend What Matters campaign, the TMA Foundation offers grants of up to $3,500 to fund vaccination activities, educational resources, and community outreach events. The final round of those 2021 Local Impact Grants is now open for applications.


Medicine Strategizes Best Uses for Federal COVID-19 Relief Dollars - 08/23/2021

The Texas Legislature likely will appropriate $15.8 billion from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) during a third special session expected to be called in October – funds that physician leaders say could help ease pandemic challenges, such as clinical staff shortages, while also addressing emerging issues, such as research and treatment related to long COVID.


FDA Grants Full Approval to Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine - 08/23/2021

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine became the first to receive full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday following what the agency described as a thorough and rigorous review process.


Effectively Counseling Patients Amid the Anti-Vaccination Movement - 08/20/2021

Even before COVID-19, Stephen Line, DO, faced vaccine hesitancy from patients when it came to the flu or other infectious diseases. Here, he talks about the technique of motivational interviewing that he used then, and that can be still used now, to help you understand your patients' fears.


Vaccination Efforts Ramp Up as Pandemic Worsens - 08/17/2021

With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surging again across the state, Texas Medical Association leaders continue to reiterate that the most important step to getting the pandemic under control is getting people vaccinated.


Immigration Rule Change Undoes Care Limits - 08/09/2021

The Biden administration has ended a controversial 2019 change to the “public charge” rule by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that the Texas Medical Association and numerous other major medical organizations opposed over concerns it deterred immigrants from obtaining timely medical care.


Get to Know Texas’ New and Improved Immunization Tracking Service - 08/06/2021

The Texas Department of State Health Services ImmTrac2 immunization registry securely and confidentially consolidates and stores Texans’ immunization records in one place.


TMA Grants Can Help Your Practice Improve Local Vaccination Rates - 07/30/2021

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. 


Apply Now For A Grant to Promote Vaccines in Your Community - 07/30/2021

The TMA Foundation is offering local impact grants of up to $3,500 to fund vaccination activities, educational resources, and community outreach events. County medical societies, TMA Alliance chapters, medical student chapters, and TMA member-physician practices/clinics can apply for a grant before June 1.


TMA Urges Student Masking, Vaccination as Delta Variant Spreads - 07/29/2021

With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations spiking due to the delta variant, TMA and state physician and health care groups are calling for student protections that include masking and vaccination as they head back to school. 


Physicians Encourage Masking and Vaccination of Students - 07/28/2021

Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President E. Linda Villarreal, MD; Texas Pediatric Society (TPS) President Seth D. Kaplan, MD; and Texas Public Health Coalition (TPHC) Chair Jason V. Terk, MD, as Texans plan for kids to return to school. The physician and health care groups are calling for children to be protected from COVID-19 due to spikes in cases and hospitalizations from the COVID-19 delta variant. They recommend parents and families follow new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for masking everyone in schools, grades K-12 – regardless of vaccination status – and to vaccinate all children aged 12 and up who can receive the COVID-19 vaccine, to protect them and their families.


Medicine With a Med Student: A Deep Dive Into Women’s Health Services in Texas, Part 2 - 07/27/2021

When it comes to health care, women have specific medical needs that require special attention, from family planning to pre- and post-menopausal care. However, a significant number of Texas women do not have health insurance to access those necessary medical services.


DSHS Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Pop-Up Events - 07/27/2021

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is responding to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations with a series of vaccination pop-up events at Walmart locations across Texas.


A Healthy Knowledge: Improving Patients' Health Literacy - 07/23/2021

The more literate patients are about health matters, the easier it is for physicians to treat them.


DSHS Taking Orders for COVID-19 Vaccine Record Cards - 07/22/2021

If you’ve enrolled to administer COVID-19 vaccines with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), you can now order vaccine record cards from the agency.