Some colleges in the South, including in Alabama and Florida, can’t impose vaccine mandates under laws or executive orders forbidding them from doing so.
This means they need to get more creative to persuade students to get vaccinated, said Kevin Volpp, director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the Wharton School’s Perelman School of Medicine.
After a year in which many universities offered mostly or exclusively remote classes, administrators are eager to get back to some semblance of normal – and they see vaccines as their path.
“The business model of many universities in the United States is to have a vibrant residential campus, and COVID has really threatened that,” Volpp said. “There are very strong incentives for universities to want to be able to resume regular operations.”