TMA has tools to help you talk with your patients when they have concerns regarding childhood and adult vaccinations. Our current series below features frequently asked questions – and answers – on a different topic each month.
The COVID-19 vaccines are expected to reach the public faster than any previous vaccine. No matter how quickly a COVID-19 vaccine is produced, it still must pass a series of rigorous scientific tests.
Two federal agencies oversee the way vaccines reach the U.S. public. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, guides physicians on the best way to use vaccines.
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.
Keeping track of vaccinations over a lifetime is not easy. People move, change physicians, and lose records. ImmTrac2, Texas’ revised immunization registry, is designed to help people keep their vaccine records in order.
Before an American child turns 2 years old, he or she will get 27 vaccinations – sometimes up to six shots in one doctor’s visit. For some parents, that seems like too much.
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.
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.
Historical data proves vaccines work. Year-over-year rates for vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and whooping cough show the number of cases drops sharply and remains low after a vaccine is introduced.
Vaccines are all about reducing the risk of getting a disease; anti-vaccine arguments are designed to downplay how risky those diseases can be.
Every so often, physicians encounter a patient who still gets sick despite getting vaccinated against that disease. Patients naturally ask, how could this happen?
Herd immunity – also known as community immunity − is simple: Vaccines protect the people who get them but also anyone those people are near – even those with no immunity – because the illness can’t spread.
“What continues to amaze me is that people are really not educated about [vaccines],” said Trish Perl, MD, chief of the infectious diseases division at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. “Some of [vaccine hesitancy] has been propagated by the anti-vaxxers, but some of it is just frankly not knowing.”
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.
Thanks to the success of vaccines, some diseases are long forgotten, like polio and diphtheria. As a result, patients and physicians may not know how these diseases look and the ravages they can cause. TMA’s first Talk to Your Patients About series can equip you to talk to your patients and help them better understand childhood and adult diseases.
Find out the basics about specific vaccines and the diseases they protect against.
Texas School Vaccinations
Immunizations: TMA and Texas Immunization Policy
Be Wise — Immunize
Got Talk to Your Patients... questions? Call or email the Knowledge Center.