Why state incentives aren't improving vaccination rates

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Statewide COVID-19 vaccine incentives have not influenced daily vaccination rates, according to a study published in the Social Science Research Network by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

To address lagging vaccination rates, at least 24 states have rolled out city- or state-wide incentive programs to promote COVID-19 vaccination. Such incentives include cash lotteries, scholarships, gift cards and other free items.

After comparing daily vaccination rates in 24 states with incentive programs in June to rates in the 26 states without them, the researchers found the programs had no effect.

Incentive programs offered by employers could be more a more effective way to increase vaccination rates than statewide lotteries, as the odds of winning seem too low for many people, Harsha Thirumurthy, PhD, the associate director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, told CBS News Sept. 8.

Dr. Thirumurthy also said many residents may not be aware of statewide vaccine incentive programs, as they're difficult to promote across an entire state.

 

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