It’s unknown how effective these incentives are, but even small vaccine clinics can create a ripple effect.
So how effective are different types of vaccine incentives?
When it comes to monetary incentives, like Colorado’s $1,000,000 drawings, the reviews from public health leaders are mixed.
Dr. Kevin Volpp is the director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.
He said, “If [people] are at all on the fence in terms of getting vaccinated, or they haven’t gotten vaccinated because they just haven’t gotten around to it, then this kind of incentive could be a very effective way to get people to go get vaccinated.”
Some experts and community leaders also worry that offering financial incentives could distract from improving access. Vaccination rates among the most socially vulnerable are lower than the most advantaged, and that gap has doubled since mid-April, when the entire U.S. adult population became eligible for vaccine allocation.
“At that point, the difference between the most and least disadvantaged was 4 percent. Now we are at 8 percent,” said Harald Schmidt, who is a Medical Ethics and Health Policy professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “That’s not what vaccines for all, what health equity looks like.”