Court Rules Nonsubscribers Can’t Designate Responsible Third Parties in Negligence Claims

Court Rules Nonsubscribers Can’t Designate Responsible Third Parties in Negligence Claims; Texas Supreme Court May Review Ruling

The Tyler Court of Appeals has ruled that a nonsubscribing employer may not designate a responsible third party in a negligence lawsuit brought by an injured worker. The court based its decision on a previous ruling in Kroger Co. v. Keng, in which it held that worker injury claims fall under the Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA).

The Tyler Court of Appeals held that a claim against a nonsubscribing employer is an action to collect workers’ compensation benefits. Based on this, the court held that the Texas Proportionate Responsibility Act is not applicable to actions to collect workers’ compensation benefits and prohibited the employer from asserting a responsible third-party defense. The implications of this ruling could potentially impact the distinction between subscription and nonsubscription, as well as the difference in damages between the two types of cases. 

The Tyler court reasoned that because the proportionate-fault regime included in Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code, section 33.002(c)(1), excludes “workers’ compensation” cases, a nonsubscriber cannot attempt to designate a third party as comparatively (or proportionately) responsible under that statute. And while the Texas Supreme Court affirmed the Tyler court’s ruling in Kroger Co. v. Keng, it did not specifically address the question presented in the litigation — whether a nonsubscriber lawsuit is “an action to collect workers’ compensation benefits under the workers’ compensation laws of [Texas].”

The case involves an emergency room nurse employed by the East Texas Medical Center (ETMC) who was injured when an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) hit her in the back with an empty stretcher. The EMT is an employee of the ETMC Emergency Medical Service (EMS), a separate company from ETMC. While her initial claim against the EMT and EMS were in the process of being dismissed due to the failure to file expert reports, she amended her lawsuit by adding her employer, ETMC.

ETMC filed a motion designating ETMC EMS as responsible third parties. The employee plaintiff moved to strike the designation, and the trial court granted the motion. ETMC appealed the trial court ruling, but the motion to appeal was denied by the Tyler appellate court, which based its decision on its previous ruling that the negligence claim was an attempt to collect workers’ compensation benefits. The court used this ruling despite the fact that the Texas Supreme Court and other appellate courts have concluded that nonsubscriber claims arise from common law negligence.

In March, the Texas Supreme Court granted an emergency stay in the case pending its determination of whether it will hear the case. While this is no guarantee the court will hear the case, it is a good sign that it is interested.

The case will be among the topics that are discussed during TAN’s next organization meeting on June 19.

For more information on the case, you may click here. For case events and briefs, you may click here.

Robert Estrada of Blanco Ordoñez Mata and Wallace and Donna Peavler of Peavler Briscoe contributed to this article.

TAN Releases 2024 Membership Survey Results: "Keep Doing What You’ve Always Done"

At the direction of the TAN Board of Directors, Bravarro recently developed a 2024 membership survey to gauge members’ satisfaction with the information and support the organization provides. The survey instrument was distributed in April. There was a 35% survey participation rate from the membership. The following are some of the top-line results from the survey.

Information Provided by TAN

Members were asked to rank on a scale of 1-10 the information provided by TAN (e.g., monthly newsletter, Texas Update, industry updates, etc.). The combined rating result for this question was 8.9. Of all respondents, 78% provided a rating of 10.

Usefulness of TAN Meetings

Survey respondents ranked the usefulness of TAN meetings 8.6 out of 10.

Legislative Updates

The legislative updates provided by TAN were rated at 8.9.

Information Provided at TAN’s Annual Meeting

The information provided at TAN’s annual meeting received a rating of 8.75 out of 10.

How Many Meetings in Nonlegislative Year

In addition to the organization’s annual meeting, the membership was asked the preferred number of meetings for a nonlegislative year. The results were as follows:

  • 56% said four additional meetings.
  • 44% said three additional meetings.

Frequency of Legislative Updates During Session

The membership was asked how many times they would like to be updated during a legislative session. A total of 88% of the respondents indicated they preferred three or more updates. Additional feedback suggested that the number of regular updates be supplemented as the need arises.

Best Method for Legislative Updates

Of respondents, 78% said a combination of email and Zoom meetings was preferred for legislative updates.

Type of Meeting Content

When asked what type of content they would like to see during TAN meetings, members responded with answers falling in the following categories:

  • Nonsubscriber-related developments
  • Industry trends
  • Member best practices
  • Types of claims cases and legal updates

Participation in Member Recruitment

When asked if someone from their company would be interested in assisting with new member recruitment, 67% of respondents said no.

Suggested Changes & Additional Feedback

Members were asked if there was anything they would like to see TAN change and if they had additional feedback. Following are highlights of those responses:

  • Focus on intoxication legislation.
  • File amicus briefs on important nonsubscriber cases.
  • More focus on nonsubscription.
  • Meetings reduced.
  • Keep doing what you have always done.

TAN’s next organization meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 19, at 1:30 p.m. (CDT).

Report Highlights Job Fatalities

Black workers face their highest job fatality rate in nearly 15 years, while Latino workers continue to face the greatest risk of dying on the job, according to the AFL-CIO’s annual report, Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect.

The report examines on-the-job deaths, injuries and illnesses in 2022. According to the report, the job fatality rate was 3.7 per 100,000 workers in 2022, with workers of color dying on the job at a higher rate than white workers. Black workers’ job fatality rate was the highest it has been in nearly 15 years — 4.2 per 100,000 workers. Latino workers’ job fatality rate was 4.6 per 100,000 workers — meaning they face the greatest risk of dying on the job of all workers.

By industry, the most dangerous jobs with the highest workplace fatality rates were in:

  • Agriculture, forestry, and fishing and hunting: 18.6 workplace fatalities per 100,000 workers.
  • Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction: 16.6 per 100,000 workers.
  • Transportation and warehousing: 14.1 per 100,000 workers.
  • Construction: 9.6 per 100,000 workers.
  • Wholesale trade: 5.4 per 100,000 workers.

Wyoming had the highest rate of fatalities, with 12.7 workplace fatalities per 100,000 workers. Texas ranked 30th with 4.3 fatalities per 100,000 workers.

The report found employees aged 65 and older are more than twice as likely to die on the job than all other workers. They had a workplace fatality rate of 8.8 per 100,000 in 2022. Employees between the ages of 55 and 64 also have an increased risk, with 4.6 workplace fatalities per 100,000 workers.

The report is available here.

TDI Releases Access to Care Study for Workers' Comp

The number of physicians participating in the Texas workers’ compensation system declined slightly between 2017 and 2022, according to a new report from the Texas Department of Insurance Workers’ Compensation Research and Evaluation Group.

However, the report notes that the decreasing physician participation rate does not necessarily indicate a worsening of access to care conditions for workers’ compensation and may be due to an increasing presence of active physicians and other health care providers like PAs and APRNs.

According to the report, the number of active physicians in Texas increased 13% to 58,711 in 2022 from 51,930 in 2017. Out of the 58,711 active physicians in 2022, 30% (or 17,659) treated workers’ compensation patients, a 4% decrease compared to 18,419 in 2017.

The report measures the availability of care by the rate of physician participation in treating work-related injuries and the rate of physician retention from 2017 to 2022. It also measures the accessibility of care by the timeliness of first nonemergency medical treatment.

The total number of claims fell to 242,751 in 2022, down from 273,328 in 2017 and an even higher 283,310 in 2018.

In other findings, 79% of active physicians in Texas practiced in the five largest metro areas in 2022. Of workers’ compensation-participating physicians, 74% were in the largest metro areas.

About 82% of claims received initial nonemergency care in seven days or less in injury year 2022, down from 84% in 2017. The share of claims receiving same-day treatment decreased to 41% in 2022 from 44% in injury year 2017.

The report is available here.

As Temperatures Rise, So Do Workplace Injuries

The probability of work-related accidents increases more than 5% when the temperature rises above 90°F, according to a study from the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

The study finds the effect is stronger in the South and for construction workers. Also, the effect of excessive heat is greater on traumatic injuries, including fractures, dislocations, contusions and lacerations. This study uses claims data and weather data from 2016 to 2021 across 24 states.

Meanwhile, a U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) subcommittee has unanimously recommended OSHA move forward with a proposed rule for protecting employees from excessive heat. The Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health advises the agency on safety and health standards and policy matters.

OSHA says the next step, a notice of proposed rulemaking, could be published before Oct. 1.

In the interim, OSHA continues to conduct heat-related inspections under its National Emphasis Program – Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards, launched in 2022. The program proactively inspects workplaces with the highest exposures to heat-related hazards to prevent workers from suffering injury, illness or death needlessly. Since its launch, OSHA has conducted nearly 5,000 federal heat-related inspections.

Downloading options for the WCRI study are available here.

Opioid Use Declines in Work Comp Claims

Opioid use in workers’ compensation claims saw one of its largest declines in recent years in 2023, according to data from Enlyte Group. Utilization declined 9.7% per claim and cost decreased 7.2% per claim.

The data are contained in part 1 of Enlyte’s 2024 Annual Pharmacy Solutions Drug Trends Report, published in May. The report analyzes drug utilization and spending trends in workers’ compensation and the Enlyte’s 2024 series reflects 2023 data, with an overview of both in- and out-of-network prescriptions.

The report also found decreases in utilization, including sustained-release opioids, which dropped by more than 10% in 2023.

Researchers also noted per-claim drops in overall drug cost and utilization in workers’ compensation among therapeutic classes ranked by cost in 2023. Although eight of the top 10 therapeutic classes experienced increased costs per script — with two classes rising by more than 10% — utilization per claim fell in every class except migraine medications, which jumped 17%.

The largest script cost increases were within the respiratory and migraine medication classes at 14.7% and 10.2%, respectively, and both classes were among the top five therapeutic classes to experience brand average wholesale price increases in 2023, which likely contributed to the rising cost per script.

Retail and mail order prescriptions also trended downward, with utilization per claim falling by more than 5% and cost per claim down by 0.2%. However, costs per script continue to rise, increasing from last year’s report by 5.2%.

You may download the report here.

State of Workers' Comp Industry Released NCCI

The workers’ compensation system remains strong, according to recently released 2023 metrics from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).

According to NCCI, workers’ compensation premiums increased 1% in 2023. Meanwhile, private carriers produced their 10th consecutive year of underwriting profitability with a calendar year 2023 combined ratio of 86. It is the seventh consecutive year with a combined ratio below 90 for the workers’ compensation insurance market.

The metrics were released in conjunction with NCCI’s annual Issues Symposium, held in May. Other key findings discussed at the symposium include:

  • Workers’ compensation’s accident year 2023 combined ratio is 98%, with prior years continuing to experience downward reserve development.
  • The workers’ compensation reserve redundancy grew to $18 billion.
  • Lost-time claim frequency declined by 8% in the past year, more than two times the size of the long-term average decline.
  • Severity changes were considered moderate for 2023, with increases of 2% for medical claim severity and 5% for indemnity claim severity.
  • Pharmacy costs have decreased 24% since 2012, mainly from decreased opioid prescribing and a shift to generics.
  • Inpatient hospital stays for injured workers have fallen 34% since 2012. NCCI says more injured workers who require surgery are having procedures done at ambulatory surgery centers, reducing the number of hospital inpatient stays.

More detailed information about the workers’ compensation system metrics is available here.

DOL Announces Final Rule Updating the Hazard Communication Standard To Better Protect Workers, First Responders

The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a final rule from its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that will update the current Hazard Communication Standard to better protect workers by improving the amount and quality of information on labels and safety data sheets and allow workers and first responders to react more quickly in an emergency. The updates take effect on July 19, 2024. 

Aligned primarily with the seventh revision of the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, the updated standard will require labels on small packaging to be more comprehensive and readable and will make changes to help ensure trade secrets no longer prevent workers and first responders from receiving critical hazard information on safety data sheets. 

Workers will also benefit from other changes in the updated standard, including a clearer hazard classification process to provide more complete and accurate hazard information on labels and safety data sheets; updated physical hazard classes to better inform users on safe handling of explosives, aerosols and chemicals under pressure; and updated precautionary statements on how to safely handle, store and dispose of hazardous chemicals.

The final rule also addresses issues that arose since the implementation of the 2012 standard and improves alignment with other federal agencies and Canada.  

Established in 1983, the Hazard Communication Standard provides a standardized approach to workplace hazard communications associated with exposure to hazardous chemicals. OSHA updated the standard in 2012 to align with the third revision of the GHS to provide a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information. 

Learn more about OSHA and hazard communication.

Watch a short video about the improved rule in English and Spanish on the department’s YouTube page.

Burnout in the Workplace

Three out of four workers surveyed recently (76%) say they feel burned out or ambivalent about their job. The same was true for 63% of managers, although 89% of them believe their workers are “thriving.”

The survey was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of The Grossman Group, a leadership and communications consultancy. More than 1,100 employees and 1,000 managers were surveyed about their attitudes toward work.

The top reasons employees cited for feeling burned out were:

  • Constant change, 43%.
  • Unnecessary work from senior leadership, 41%.
  • High turnover rates, 39%.
  • Limited mental health benefits, 31%.

Top reasons cited by managers were:

  • Constant change, 50%.
  • A disconnect between their organization’s “stated values” and the workplace culture, 49%.
  • Employees are frequently asked to switch focus throughout the day, 49%.
  • Employees are not encouraged to or are even discouraged from taking time off away from work, 47%.
  • Job demands require them to work outside of normal working hours, 47%.
  • High turnover rates, 46%.

According to the survey, employees who are burned out or ambivalent about their job feel mentally exhausted, overwhelmed in their current role, less productive than normal, challenged to maintain a work-life balance, and micromanaged.

The survey notes the cost of burnout frequently is increased turnover, and that 33% of U.S. hiring managers predict employee turnover will increase at their company in 2024. The survey says multiple studies show turnover can cost companies 50-200% of an employee’s annual salary in lost productivity and rehiring costs.

The survey is available here.

Unresolved Mental Health Issues Can Add Time and Cost to Claims

Workers recovering from on-the-job injuries may have accompanying behavioral health challenges that could keep them off the job almost three times as long as the average lost-time claim, according to an analysis of more than 540,000 workers’ compensation claims by business insurer Sentry. The analysis also found that injured workers with claims involving mental health challenges were also more than three times as likely to rely on opioids.

Sentry’s 2024 Injured Worker Well-Being Report is based on analysis of workers’ compensation claims from 2012 to 2019 that were open from 90 days to a year.

According to Sentry, less than 3% of nearly 540,000 workers’ compensation claims submitted to Sentry between 2012 and 2019 had evidence of behavioral health issues. However, these claims accounted for 35% of all costs, the report said.

When an employee suffers injuries that prevent them from working, they may experience serious psychological distress compared to those without injuries. Barriers can include anxiety or depression, catastrophic thinking, fear of reinjury or job loss, and a lack of social support.

Additionally, injured workers who showed behavioral health concerns saw longer return-to-work timelines and slower claims resolution than the average lost-time claim. The analysis found return-to-work time for injured workers with behavioral health concerns was 2.6 times longer than an average claim. Claims duration was 1.8 times greater.

You may download the report by clicking here.

Survey Sheds Insight on Job Satisfaction of Workers

Workers who changed jobs during the so-called Great Resignation during the COVID-19 pandemic are significantly less satisfied with their jobs than their colleagues who stayed, according to a new survey.

The Conference Board survey, conducted during the fourth quarter of 2023, found company leadership and culture are the biggest factors in satisfaction between the job switchers and job stayers.

Overall job satisfaction remained virtually unchanged — ticking up 0.4 points to 62.7% compared to 2022, despite declines in every individual driver of job satisfaction. The largest declines were primarily in financial benefits such as bonuses, hard base benefits, wages, and promotions — most likely underscoring the sting of stubborn inflation.

Other key findings include:

  • Workers who left their jobs since the pandemic’s onset are much more dissatisfied than those who didn’t. Job switchers’ overall job satisfaction is down 5.6%. Driving the dissatisfaction: leadership quality, communications, interest in the work, co-workers, and job security.
  • Overall satisfaction was lowest among those who had worked in their current job between six months and three years. Satisfaction rose from 58.2% to 63.6% once an employee met the three-year threshold.
  • Almost half of those who said they intend to leave their jobs within six months are workers in their jobs for fewer than three years. They expressed greater intent to leave within the next six months due largely to dissatisfaction with bonuses, promotions, training, recognition and performance reviews.
  • Fully on-site workers reported the lowest job satisfaction at 60.2%, compared to 64.1% satisfaction for hybrid workers.

Information for downloading the report is available here.

Moms Returning to the Workplace

The percentage of working moms has recovered from the steep declines seen at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and is now 1.9% higher than it was in February 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau.

The percentage of working mothers dropped 15.7% from February to April 2020 as employers closed or scaled back operations. Additionally, many working mothers left the labor force when childcare became harder to find.

Today, however, many groups of mothers — Asian moms, Hispanic moms, those with a bachelor’s degree, and those whose youngest child is younger than six years — have seen employment rates exceed pre-pandemic levels.

The Women’s Bureau says an analysis of the most recent statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 71.7% of U.S. mothers ages 25-54 with at least one child under 13 were employed in February 2024 — up 1.9% from February 2020.

For other groups of mothers — those with less than a bachelor’s degree and those whose youngest child is 13 to 17 years old — employment rates now hover around pre-pandemic levels.

One factor that may have contributed to the growth in employment for some U.S. mothers is the increasing prevalence of telework. In 2023, about 24.2% of mothers reported working from home at some point in the prior week, with rates rising to 26.8% among mothers whose youngest child is under the age of six, according to a Women’s Bureau analysis of the Current Population Survey.

However, telework is often unavailable for those with less education: While 34% of mothers with only a bachelor’s degree and 36% of mothers with an advanced degree reported teleworking in the prior week, only 4% of mothers with less than a high school diploma reported teleworking.

Texas News

Business Insurance
Fired School Custodian’s Suit Should Have Been Dismissed: Texas Appeals Court
A trial court erred in failing to dismiss a lawsuit against a school district by a former custodian who claimed she was fired in retaliation for filing a workers compensation claim, a Texas appellate court ruled Thursday. Click here for full article.

State News

Los Angeles Daily News
Worker Awarded $58 Million in Palmdale Train Yard Injury
A jury on Tuesday, May 21 awarded more than $58 million to a Palmdale train yard worker who slipped and fell on top of a train while performing electrical repairs at the Kinkisharyo International train manufacturing yard in 2016. Click here for full article.

Iowa Capital Dispatch
‘Essential Worker’ Claiming Vaccine Side Effects Now Seeks Workers’ Comp
A Cedar Rapids city employee is seeking workers’ compensation benefits for injuries he attributes to the city’s repeated promotion of the COVID-19 vaccine. Click here for full article.

Business Insurance
Opioid Overdose Deaths More Likely Among Injured Workers: Study
Working-age Massachusetts residents who died between 2011 and 2020 were 35% more likely to have died of an opioid-related overdose if they had previously been injured at work, according to data released Thursday by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Click here for full article.
Do You Know the Rule? Mich. Limitation of Liability
A Michigan rule spells out that no compensation shall be payable for an occupational disease if the employee at the time of entering into the employment of the employer by whom the compensation would otherwise be payable, or thereafter, willfully and falsely represents in writing that he has not previously suffered from the disease which is the cause of the disability or death. Click here for full article.

Business Insurance
Second Injury Fund Not Liable For Worker’s Mental Injury
The Missouri Court of Appeals upheld a determination that the state-run Second Injury Fund was not liable for a worker’s permanent total disability benefits for a psychological injury she reported following a physical injury. Click here for full article.

Property Casualty 360
Appeals Court Says Doctor’s Injuries From Mass Shooting a Workers’ Comp Board Matter
A multijurisdictional matter involving a doctor’s injuries from a mass shooting at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital in 2017 was resolved by New York’s top court on Thursday, with the seven jurists in accord in remanding the matter to the state workers’ compensation board. Click here for full article.

General News

AP News
US Prisoners Are Being Assigned Dangerous Jobs. But What Happens If They Are Hurt Or Killed?
Blas Sanchez was nearing the end of a 20-year stretch in an Arizona prison when he was leased out to work at Hickman’s Family Farms, which sells eggs that have ended up in the supply chains of huge companies like McDonald’s, Target and Albertsons. Click here for full article.

The Weight of Workers’ Comp: Understanding the Impact of Obesity Drugs on Claims
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2021 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey estimates that clinical obesity prevalence was 41.9% in the period of 2017 through March 2020, and troublingly, this number constitutes a significant jump from 1999, when prevalence was estimated at 30.5%. Click here for full article.

Business Insurance
Virtual Reality Device Designed to Treat Injured Workers’ Low Back Pain
AppliedVR, a Van Nuys, California-based immersive therapeutics company, announced Wednesday the release of its RelieVRx virtual reality device designed to treat workers compensation claimants suffering from lower back pain. Click here for full article.

Claims Journal
Reclassification of Marijuana is Underway, but Approval for Workers’ Comp and Auto Injuries Will Take Time
Barely noticed outside marijuana industry groups, the Biden Administration has been moving to change the classification of marijuana as a less dangerous drug. Click here for full article.

A Win for Iowa Workers’ Compensation Employers and Insurance Companies: Combined Shoulder and Upper Extremity Injuries are Limited to the Schedule
The debate about shoulders and industrial disability has come to an end for now with the Iowa Supreme Court’s most recent decision, Bridgestone Americas, Inc. v. Anderson. The Court held that a work injury causing injuries to both the shoulder and upper extremity/arm does not convert the injury to a body as a whole case. Click here for full article.

NCCI Metrics Show Strength of Workers Comp System at AIS 2024
The performance of the workers compensation system remains strong according to the 2023 metrics that the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) released today. Click here for full article.

2023 Workers Compensation Financial Results Update
At its Annual Insights Symposium (AIS) in May 2023, NCCI presented the State of the Line Report—a comprehensive account of financial results for the workers compensation (WC) insurance line of business. Click here for full article.

State of the Economy and Impact on Workers Compensation
The dynamically changing workforce and evolving economy are top of mind for workers compensation executives. Stephen provided an in-depth perspective on recent economic developments and their impact on workers comp, including a look into how these unfolding trends are influencing premium, frequency, and severity. Click here for full article.

Property Casualty 360
Workers’ Compensation Claims Seeing Fewer Opioid Prescriptions
In 2023, opioid utilization in workers’ compensation claims saw one of its largest declines in recent years, according to Enlyte Group, LLC. Utilization declined 9.7% per claim and cost decreased 7.2% per claim. Click here for full article.

Canadian Occupational Safety
MPP Wants June 1 Officially Proclaimed as Injured Workers Day
With June 1 fast approaching, injured workers and their families expressed strong support for legislation that looks to Injured Workers Day officially proclaimed in Ontario. Click here for full article.

VOA News
Pakistan to Compensate Families of Slain Chinese Workers
Pakistan will pay more than $2 million to the families of Chinese workers killed in a suicide bombing this year. Click here for full article.

CPR News
How Many People Did We Save with Social Distancing and COVID Vaccines? CU Researchers Say Nearly a Million
Before the first COVID-19 vaccine became available, Americans radically changed their behavior to avoid getting the virus by social distancing and wearing masks. Click here for full article.

NBC News
A New COVID Variant has Taken Over, and Experts Predict a Small Summer Wave
Disease experts anticipate a small uptick in Covid cases this summer, as a new variant spreads. Click here for full article.

AP News
Countries Struggle to Draft ‘Pandemic Treaty’ to Avoid Mistakes Made During COVID
After the coronavirus pandemic triggered once-unthinkable lockdowns, upended economies and killed millions, leaders at the World Health Organization and worldwide vowed to do better in the future. Click here for full article.

UK Research and Innovation
New Vaccine Could Protect Against Possible Future Coronaviruses
This is a new approach to vaccine development called ‘proactive vaccinology’, where scientists build a vaccine before the disease-causing pathogen even emerges. Click here for full article.

Scripps News
New Omicron ‘FLiRT’ Variants Account for Most COVID-19 Cases in the US
Two new omicron subvariants have gained such prevalence in the U.S. that they now account for most of COVID-19 infections in the nation. Click here for full article.

Pew Research Center
How Americans View the Coronavirus, COVID-19 Vaccines Amid Declining Levels of Concern
A new Pew Research Center survey finds that just 20% of Americans view the coronavirus as a major threat to the health of the U.S. population today and only 10% are very concerned they will get it and require hospitalization. Click here for full article.

Yale Medicine
Comparing the COVID-19 Vaccines: How Are They Different?
COVID-19 is now in its fifth year, and the subvariants of the Omicron strain, which first emerged in 2021, continue to drive infections in the United States. Click here for full article.

AstraZeneca to Withdraw COVID Vaccine
AstraZeneca said it was “incredibly proud” of the vaccine, but it had made a commercial decision. Click here for full article.

The New York Times
Thousands Believe Covid Vaccines Harmed Them. Is Anyone Listening?
All vaccines have at least occasional side effects. But people who say they were injured by Covid vaccines believe their cases have been ignored. Click here for full article.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
COVID-19 Vaccination Public Education Campaign Saved Thousands of Lives, Billions of Dollars
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) COVID-19 Vaccination Public Education Campaign, We Can Do This, resulted in an estimated$731.9 billion in societal benefits due to averted illness and related costs, resulting in a nearly $90 return in societal benefits for every $1 spent. Click here for full article.