Despite the quick approval of safe, highly effective COVID-19 vaccines, vaccination rates in the United States have stagnated over the past few months — with just 69% of adults fully vaccinated as of mid-October.
Now, a growing number of employers, governments, and private businesses are requiring vaccination as a condition of employment, imposing financial penalties for those who remain unvaccinated, and excluding unvaccinated individuals from being able to go to restaurants, gyms, concerts, and other large gatherings.
A very small number of people have resisted vaccine mandates. ESPN reporter Allison Williams recently made headlines for giving up her job because she refused to get vaccinated. Kyrie Irving, a professional basketball player for the New York Nets, is not allowed to practice or play with his team because of his vaccination status. And Northwell Health, New York State’s largest health care provider, fired 1,400 workers who refused to get vaccinated by the September deadline, Forbes reported.
“Science and data are not sufficient to influence rational behavior. Behavioral economics research has found a number of ways to predictably influence behavior in ways that are not always rational,” says Daniel Polsky, PhD, an economist and Bloomberg distinguished professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Carey Business School. “For example, the behavior of those around you can have more influence on decision making than science and data.”
Read the full story in the AAMC.