Want tickets to the Super Bowl? An all-expenses-paid cruise through the Caribbean? A check for thousands of dollars? Get a COVID-19 vaccine, and you may win one of those — or a host of other rewards offered to induce people to get their shots.
With about 41% of the U.S. population fully vaccinated, officials in public health and the private sector have begun turning in recent weeks to tangible prizes to incentivize remaining Americans to do so.
Subtle messaging around incentives — and more generally about the vaccine — are hugely important in the rollout, said Gretchen Chapman, a professor of social and decision sciences at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Chapman did research in fall of last year that tested different messages sent to people the night before a scheduled doctor’s appointment. One message was the standard office reminder, a second noted that flu shots would be available, and a third said that a flu shot had been “reserved for you.”