CHIBE-affiliated faculty member Dr. Katy Milkman offered her expertise as a behavioral scientist during a hearing of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis on July 1, 2021. The hearing was on “Building Trust and Battling Barriers: The Urgent Need to Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy.” Find the video here and embedded below:
In her opening statement, Dr. Milkman focused on how behavioral science can be used to increase uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine (including finding ways to make the vaccine “radically convenient”). One suggestion she made was to pre-arrange vaccine appointments for patients, instead of simply informing patients how to schedule an appointment. She also cited her recent research into text-based nudges for flu vaccines, noting that messages that said the flu vaccine was “reserved” or “waiting for you” were effective at increasing vaccine adoption.
Dr. Milkman also discussed the benefits of financial incentives for vaccine uptake with the caveat that incentives may be effective only among individuals who already intend to get vaccinated. Incentives also may unintentionally convey to some individuals that there’s a health risk associated with getting vaccinated.
Additional speakers at this hearing were:
– Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, Executive Director, American Public Health Association
– Dr. Jerome Adams, former Surgeon General of the United States
– Joshua Garza, coronavirus survivor
– Sophia Bush, actress, activist, and entrepreneur
Read media coverage of the hearing here: