Giving cash cards of $25 to adults who either received a COVID-19 vaccination or drove someone to receive their first dose had positive effects, cutting the decline in vaccination rates in half.
Rewards of $25 to people getting a COVID-19 shot or for drivers who take someone to get a first dose had positive effects in a North Carolina pilot study.
Small Rewards vs LotteriesNorth Carolina is among states trying to motivate residents to get COVID-19 vaccinations with incentives including million-dollar lotteries.But only a few lucky people benefit from such large prizes. Small, guaranteed cash incentives can offset transportation and childcare costs to get the vaccine, Wong said.
The $25 guaranteed amount was chosen to offer something meaningful but to avoid introducing coercion.Respondents were 2 to 4 times as likely to say cash cards were important in getting the vaccine if they were Hispanic or identified as another non-white group.
Those with incomes lower than $40,000 were about twice as likely as those with higher incomes to say the cards were important in their choice and about 9% reported they would not have been vaccinated without the cash card offer.“We were pleased to see that amount was motivating, especially for our historically marginalized population,” Wong says. headtopics.com
Asch, whose research focuses on behavioral economics and doctor- patient decision making, said about the lottery incentives, “I thought they would work the way most lotteries typically work, which is that people are drawn more to the size of the prize and often don’t consider the small odds of winning that prize. I was wrong, in that the evidence generally points to the
to encourage COVID vaccination.”Asch says he was surprised that small incentives seem to have worked, especially as far out as June.“I would have thought that people who hadn’t been vaccinated at that point were revealing that they were dug in, and that it might take much larger incentives to move the needle or, in this case, receive the needle. The changes were not large, but there was an effect,” he says.
“I have to acknowledge that a lot of what I thought I knew about motivating health promoting behavior has not been correct in the context of COVID vaccines. I thought lotteries would work, but they don’t. I thought small incentives would not work, and this study suggests they do, but really in a small way,” Asch says.”
Social context, he says, plays a huge role in how decisions are made.“Let’s face it,” Asch says, “COVID vaccination decisions have political antecedents in a way that gettingcolon cancerscreening does not. A lot of what we understand about human behavior flies out the window when politics walks in the door.” headtopics.com
The results of this study may have important messages for areas struggling to make any difference in uptake.‘With hundreds of millions of dollars being spent to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine uptake, these study findings suggest that this strategy for increasing vaccination merits greater investment,” the authors write.Read more: WebMD »
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