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Effective COVID Therapies Still in Short Supply in Texas - 01/21/2022

Slowly but surely, medicine is learning which COVID-19 therapeutics work best in general, which are effective against the now-dominant omicron variant, and which ones appear no match for omicron. Unfortunately, “slow” also describes the supply movement of the most effective drugs.

COVID to Take Center Stage at Winter Conference - 01/21/2022

With COVID-19 dominating physicians’ lives, the General Session of the Texas Medical Association’s 2022 Winter Conference is the place you and your colleagues can get the latest on the COVID surge from Texas’ top public health care experts. 

Insurance Coverage for At-Home COVID Tests Begins Saturday - 01/12/2022

The Biden-Harris administration is requiring insurers and group health plans to cover the cost of over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 tests beginning this Saturday, Jan. 15, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced.

Expect a More Serious Flu Season – and Test Accordingly, DSHS Says - 01/10/2022

In 2021, precautions that people took against COVID-19 – like masking and social distancing – helped create an unusually light flu season, says Jennifer Shuford, MD, chief state epidemiologist at the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). In 2022, Texas probably will not be as lucky.

Omicron Variant Underscores Importance of Proven Tools to Fight COVID - 12/08/2021

The recently discovered omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has sparked fears about increased infectivity and transmissibility heading into the holiday season. But Texas Medical Association experts and public health officials say physicians and patients can lean into proven prevention strategies – including vaccination, masking, social distancing, improved ventilation, testing, and handwashing – as scientists continue to study the new threat.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Survey: Health Officials Plan for Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution - 10/18/2021

As approval for a pediatric version of the COVID-19 vaccine gets underway, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is planning ahead for its distribution and needs your feedback by 5 pm CT this Wednesday, Oct. 20.

El Paso Finds a Recipe for Vaccination Success - 10/11/2021

While city and county health authorities all over Texas keep searching for a recipe to get more local residents vaccinated for COVID-19, El Paso – the city and the county – have found what Ogechika Alozie, MD, calls a “secret sauce.”

CDC: Watch for Measles, Other Diseases Among Evacuees From Afghanistan - 09/27/2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that clinicians be on alert for several types of diseases – including measles and mumps – among evacuees who were part of the recent U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, including both Afghan nationals and U.S. citizens.

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.

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.

CDC Probing Monkeypox Case in Dallas - 07/20/2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a case of monkeypox in a person who was diagnosed with the virus after traveling from Nigeria to Dallas.

FDA Issues Guillain-Barré Warning on J&J COVID-19 Vaccine - 07/14/2021

The Food and Drug Administration has updated information about the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to warn of increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome. According to the new warning, reports of adverse events following use of the vaccine “suggest an increased risk” of the rare neurological disorder during the 42 days after vaccination.

OSHA Issues Temporary COVID-19 Regs For Health Care Settings - 06/30/2021

On June 21, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a temporary set of regulations – called an “emergency temporary standard” (ETS) – for health care facilities taking care of COVID-19 patients or suspected COVID-19 patients. Facilities required to comply need to meet most of the ETS regulations starting Tuesday, July 6.

Adolescents Can Receive COVID-19 Shots. Enroll With DSHS to Give Them - 06/15/2021

Adolescents are next in line to obtain COVID-19 vaccines. To prepare for this big step in combating the pandemic, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) encourages physicians and other health care professionals in Texas Vaccine for Children (TVFC) to enroll in the COVID-19 Vaccine Program, the agency announced.

Get Paid for COVID-19 Vaccination Costs Not Covered by Insurance Under New HHS Program - 06/08/2021

Since physicians cannot bill patients for COVID-19 vaccine administration, a new federal program aims to fill in the gaps by covering the outstanding costs not covered by health insurance plans.

Physicians Can Now Order COVID-19 Vaccines in Any Lot Size They Need - 05/19/2021

Until recently, physicians looking to administer COVID-19 vaccines ran into a big roadblock: Many had to place orders so large their practices couldn’t use all the doses.

Interested in Running a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic? These TMA Resources Can Help - 05/12/2021

In response to a growing number of private physician practices receiving direct supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 Outpatient Workgroup developed two resources with best practices for planning  and operating  a COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

Physicians Key to Improving Texas’ COVID-19 Vaccine Rates - 05/06/2021

Recent drops in COVID-19 vaccination rates have several causes, but taken together they signal that the effort to immunize Texans has entered a tough new phase – one that will rely more heavily than ever on physicians to distribute the vaccines, says David Lakey, MD, who is vice chancellor for health affairs and chief medical officer at The University of Texas System.

More COVID-19 Vaccines Available For Your Practice: Order Now - 04/30/2021

Texas’ COVID-19 vaccine supplies are well stocked, and physician practices are likely to see more allocations as the state shifts its vaccination efforts from large, mass vaccination sites “to those where Texans routinely receive medical care,” the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced.

Routine Screen: Regular Testing Needed to End HIV Epidemic - 04/01/2021

Testing is one of the best ways to combat HIV infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine testing for patients between the ages of 13 to 64. Yet, fewer than 40% of eligible people have ever had an HIV test, according to a 2019 CDC study.