In the next pandemic, pay everyone to be vaccinated

It is the truth Everyone admits that people like money. If you show them cash, they’re usually more likely to do what you want, whether it’s quit smoking, do exerciseor keep up with their medicine.

As vaccines begin to roll out of laboratories during the pandemic, governments begin to wonder: How can we encourage as many people as possible to get vaccinated against Covid-19? Countries have tried a range of approaches: They put out strict public health messages, interacted with hard-to-reach communities, urged celebrities to get vaccinated, and made vaccinations mandatory. .

But policy makers and academic also suggested another controversial approach – why not just give people cold, hard cash? This again sparked a fierce debate.

Pragmatists To speak that if more people are vaccinated, the public benefit will outweigh all other harms. But there’s no guarantee that giving people money to do a good deed will convince them to do it—it might even suggest the opposite, that the action isn’t worth doing otherwise. One school year 2000 conducted with high school students in Israel who found that when they were paid a small commission to collect charity money on a given day, the group that earned the commission actually collected less than the group that received the money. pay zilch—shows that monetary incentives have a detrimental effect on the urge to do good.

One big worry is that cash incentives could have unintended long-term consequences. Giving people money to do a public good can reduce their willingness to do the same for free in the future. It can also cause mistrust. Unlike blood donation or other public health interventions, vaccines are divisive. And research has shown that in paid clinical trials, people associate higher payments with greater risk. Paying people to get vaccinated — when it was previously free — can lead them to overestimate the risks involved.

Finally, ethics is ambiguous. moralist argumentative that monetary rewards don’t mean the same for a cash-strapped single parent who lost their job during the pandemic as it did for a comfortably employed middle-class person. Giving money can be seen as a form of coercion or exploitation, as a single parent cannot reasonably refuse. “A gun in the back works, but should we use it?” Nancy Jecker, a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

But in a newly published paper in the magazine NatureResearchers Florian Schneider, Pol Campos-Mercade, Armando Meier and others addressed these concerns.

In 2021, Meier and his colleagues conducted a randomized trial to see if financial incentives increase vaccine uptake. In their study, published in the magazine Science In October 2021, Meier and his co-authors recruited more than 8,000 people in Sweden and offered a portion of them $24 for vaccinations within the next 30 days, while others did not. what is provided. The researchers found that the cash incentive increased the proportion of people who were vaccinated by about 4%. That number doesn’t change significantly when taking into account age, race, ethnicity, education, or income. Another study during the pandemic also found that financial incentives effective.


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