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 ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania.
College students, she says, are in an age group that has likely not prioritized the COVID-19 vaccine, and incentive programs give them a “tangible and immediate” reason to get their shot.