CHIBE in the News

WHYY: The results of Philadelphia’s COVID-19 vaccine lottery? ‘Discouraging’

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From WHYY: There were more people getting vaccinated in the run-up to the first sweepstakes drawing, but taking all the weeks into consideration, the lottery did not lead to a statistically significant change in the number of people getting vaccinated. The conclusion is that the lottery did not make a significant difference at this point of the pandemic, and that public officials should think about other ways to entice people to get vaccinated. Katy Milkman, a behavioral scientist at the University of Pennsylvania and a co-author of the research, tweeted that the results are “discouraging.” James Garrow, communications director for the Philadelphia Department…

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Popular Science: Will Pfizer’s FDA approval spell an uptick in COVID vaccination?

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From Popular Science: In a recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 31 percent of unvaccinated respondents said they’d be more likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine once it had received full approval. However, what people say they’ll do doesn’t always line up with what they ultimately decide to do, says Silvia Saccardo, an assistant professor in the department of social and decision sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. She and her colleagues have studied how texting people reminders to get vaccinated affects their willingness and follow-through. They experimented with several kinds of messages. All of them contained links to appointment…

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The New York Times: F.D.A. Fully Approves Pfizer-BioNTech’s Vaccine, a First for a COVID-19 Shot

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From The New York Times: On Monday morning, the F.D.A. granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people 16 and up. It is the first vaccine to move beyond emergency-use status in the U.S., and officials hope it will persuade some of the 85 million unvaccinated Americans who are eligible for shots but have not received them. Data from 44,000 clinical trial participants in the United States, the European Union, Turkey, South Africa and South America showed the vaccine was 91 percent effective in preventing infection. So far, more than 92 million Americans — 54 percent of those fully inoculated —…

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Yahoo! News: Colleges impose coronavirus testing fees up to $1,500 for unvaccinated students

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From Yahoo! News: Some colleges in the South, including in Alabama and Florida, can’t impose vaccine mandates under laws or executive orders forbidding them from doing so. This means they need to get more creative to persuade students to get vaccinated, said Kevin Volpp, director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the Wharton School’s Perelman School of Medicine. After a year in which many universities offered mostly or exclusively remote classes, administrators are eager to get back to some semblance of normal – and they see vaccines as their path. “The business model of many universities in the…

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Freakonomics M.D.: Why Are Kids with Summer Birthdays More Likely to Get the Flu?

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From Freakonomics M.D.: After struggling to schedule a flu shot for his own toddler, host Bapu Jena went down a research rabbit hole. He discovered that the time of year kids are born has an unexpected and dramatic effect on whether they and their families end up getting the flu. Bapu explains his findings and asks a pediatrician and public health expert what could be done about it. “It’s a public health issue,” Dr. Amol Navathe said. “One thing that is very different about flu and about other diseases that are transmittable from one person to another is how your…

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Politifact: Have vaccine lotteries worked? Studies so far show mixed results

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From Politifact: Researchers told PolitiFact that if the costs are modest, lotteries might be helpful in boosting vaccination rates, but other tactics may be more cost-effective. Meanwhile, policies that don’t involve a direct price tag at all, such as requiring vaccines for employees or students, may be more effective at this point in the pandemic, said Kevin Volpp, who co-authored the paper on the Philadelphia lotteries. “It’s time for governors to use their power to require vaccination where possible and not rely on financial incentive programs or other ‘lighter touch’ strategies,” Volpp said. In recent weeks, Washington state has required all teachers…

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VICE: A Step-By-Step Guide to Convincing Your Un-Vaxxed Parents to Get Their Shots

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From VICE:  Alison Buttenheim, who designs trials for innovative interventions in public health like vaccine acceptance, recommended triaging your approach to determine why your parent is not yet vaccinated. Is it a misunderstanding of efficacy data and breakthrough cases, or is it about a 5G microchip? Maybe it’s somewhere in between. “This is sort of health counseling 101, but really listening and acknowledging where people are coming from is a big help,” she told VICE. “It gets you in the door to have the conversation.” Read the full story in VICE. 

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Financial Times: Delta variant drives wave of US employers to mandate vaccines

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From Financial Times: Since vaccines became available in the US, companies have focused on offering incentives to encourage widespread uptake. Starbucks and McDonald’s gave four hours of paid time off to workers getting their shots. Amazon offered $80. Boeing set up mass vaccination sites at its plants. Behavioral economists typically believe that such “nudges” are highly effective, said Iwan Barankay, but the uptake has disappointed many employers. The reason, his research suggests, is that financial incentives are less effective at changing people’s behavior when it comes to their health. For companies impatient to bring staff back to their offices, “it…

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NPR: From Free Pizza to Free Tuition, Colleges Try Everything To Get Students Vaccinated

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From NPR: Purdue is among the hundreds of U.S. colleges that are counting on high COVID-19 vaccination rates to keep their campuses safe this fall. Colleges have adopted vaccine mandates, a few are charging students a fee for being unvaccinated and many are hosting vaccine clinics on move-in days. If all that wasn’t enough, countless colleges are also offering flashy rewards to encourage students and faculty to get their shots. “Incentives really work best when they’re aimed at people who are not against being vaccinated, but they have for whatever reason not prioritized vaccination up until now,” says Emily Largent, a professor of medical…

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Knowledge@Wharton: How Vaccine Mandates are Helping Companies

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From Knowledge@Wharton: With the delta variant driving up COVID-19 cases across the country, more companies are mandating vaccinations for employees to ward off the economic losses that come from having an unhealthy workforce. Delta and United airlines, Facebook, Walmart, Google, Black Rock, Microsoft, Anthem, and Tyson Foods are among dozens of firms that have announced mandates in recent weeks as COVID-19 cases climb. For the first time since February, the U.S. is averaging more than 100,000 cases a day in what Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has called a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” The CDC now recommends everyone…

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