SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Cash incentives, such as $ 100 payments, could persuade more people to get vaccinated, according to a recent study.
In the survey conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, more than 75,000 unvaccinated people were surveyed, and about a third of them said that a cash payment of up to $ 100 would make them more likely to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“It’s not a surprising result. We have used cash incentives, believe it or not in other contexts, we have encouraged people to get tested for sexually transmitted infections and other interventions. So they work, ”said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco.
The survey also found a greater willingness of respondents to be vaccinated if it meant they wouldn’t have to wear a mask or remain socially distant at events.
Chin-Hong said the results show that public health leaders must be prepared to offer several options to those who straddle the line on willingness to be vaccinated.
“It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. I think the cash incentives may appeal to some. For others, it could mean that their friends are going to Outside Lands and they need a vaccine to get in, and maybe that could be the motivation. For others, it may be that the section vaccinated during the Giants game seems to have a little more freedom than the section not vaccinated, ”said Chin-Hong.
Doctors say providing cash incentives to motivate health behavior is nothing new and has been successful in the past. Some states are encouraging COVID-19 vaccinations with everything from free beer to $ 100 payments.
For example, West Virginia is offering $ 100 savings bonds to young people aged 16 to 35 who get vaccinated, and Maryland will pay $ 100 to fully vaccinated state employees.
Some New Jersey breweries offer free drinks, while Connecticut and Washington, DC do something similar.
Even big companies like Krispy Kreme, which offered free donuts with proof of vaccination in March, are getting involved.
“So vital that we all get vaccinated. We have to do it now because the longer they wait, the more chances there are for variations locally, ”Chin-Hong said.
Experts say these types of incentives would likely only work for those who fall somewhere between wanting to be vaccinated and those who object to doing so.
Meanwhile, data from the US Census Bureau shows that less than 15% of adults in the United States identify as vaccine reluctant. For this part of the population, such incentives would not work and would likely prevent them even more from getting vaccinated.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, as of May 7, more than 45% of the American population had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and more than 33% were fully vaccinated.