As Covid-19 vaccination rates in the US slow down, more state governments and private organizations are offering perks and incentives to induce those who are still hesitant to change their minds.
Multiple states including Colorado, Oregon, Ohio, and California, are awarding lottery prizes of $1 million ($1.5 million in California) to a selected few who get vaccinated. Numerous states and private groups are also offering smaller cash prizes (or gift card equivalents) of $50 to $200 to those receiving the vaccine.
Some businesses are offering employees cash rewards or time off to get vaccinated. Others are offering customers free beer, free donuts, or free marijuana. Still other groups are offering tickets to Broadway shows or to the 2022 Super Bowl.
One big unanswered question: Will these incentives change behavior?
Dr. David Asch, executive director of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation and an expert in behavioral economics in health care, similarly notes: “[I]f we do offer money, we might actually inflame their concerns. Someone who has a lot of distrust of the vaccine might think, “They’d never offer money if this was a good thing.”