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Roll Call: Medicaid beneficiaries less likely to get COVID-19 shots

A combination of factors is keeping enrollees from getting vaccinated, even with states offering big-money incentives. A nationwide poll also showed higher levels of vaccine hesitancy among lower-income individuals. The poll, released in mid-June by the African American Research Collaborative and the Commonwealth Fund, found that 45 percent of individuals earning under $50,000 said they were both unvaccinated and hesitant to get vaccinated. That number dropped to 35 percent for individuals earning $50,000 to $79,000 and to 26 percent for those earning more than $80,000. Businesses nationwide offer vaccinated individuals everything from free beer and doughnuts to a chance at free cruises and flights. “You can think about those smaller incentives as a way of reimbursing people for expenses,” such as babysitting or transportation, said Kevin Volpp, a professor of medicine and health care management at the University of Pennsylvania. “A chance at winning a huge lottery is exciting but doesn’t do that, and so there are pros and cons of different approaches. Then there’s also some states that are doing a combination.”