FiveThirtyEight: Vaccines Mandates Work, But They’re Messy

By In the News

From FiveThirtyEight: In fall 2019, before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19, California legislators were trying to pass a bill aimed at increasing childhood vaccination. Five years previously, someone at Disneyland had set off a measles outbreak that infected more than 100 people, mostly unvaccinated, in the state — as well as in six other states, Canada and Mexico. The incident galvanized legislators and led to a series of laws aimed at curtailing the religious and philosophical exemptions that allowed parents to avoid getting their kids vaccinated before sending them to school. Take the exemptions away, the thinking went, and vaccine rates would…

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CBS: COVID-19 Vaccinations plateau despite incentive programs

By In the News

From CBS News: COVID-19 vaccination rates appear to have plateaued again in the U.S. Many communities have created incentive programs offering money, free food, beer and other perks to get more shots in arms, but does that really help? Harsha Thirumurthy, associate director at the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, joined CBSN to discuss his research on the subject. Read the full story at CBS News. 

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philly vax sweepstakes

What We Learned From the Philly Vax Sweepstakes

By CHIBEblog

What impact did the Philly Vax Sweepstakes — a large-scale, high-payoff vaccine regret lottery program — have on Philadelphia’s COVID-19 vaccination rates? The Philly Vax Sweepstakes was a vaccine incentive program launched in the summer of 2021 by the Center for Health Incentives & Behavioral Economics (CHIBE), Wharton’s Behavior Change for Good Initiative (BCFG), the City of Philadelphia, and the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium. Read CHIBE’s original story on the sweepstakes to learn more about the design of this program. Wharton Doctoral Candidate Linnea Gandhi, the lead author on a recent SSRN pre-print on this topic, spoke with CHIBE about…

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The Atlantic: The Wrong Way to Test Yourself for the Coronavirus

By In the News

From The Atlantic: As infections skyrocket, many Americans, like Dreifus, are clamoring once again for tests. Over-the-counter, at-home tests in particular have been flying off pharmacy shelves and out of online inventories, as companies scramble to scale up demand. People are turning to these tests when they feel sick, to avoid an onerous trip to a testing site or a doctor’s office or the days-long wait that tends to come with laboratory-based tests. At-home tests are also being heavily marketed as an option for folks who feel healthy to screen themselves before they venture out into the world. But often, that’s…

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Marketplace: Delta Airlines’ $200 charge to unvaccinated employees puts penalty power to the test

By In the News

From Marketplace: Delta Air Lines said the average hospital stay for an employee sick with COVID-19 costs the company $50,000. Recovering that cost is part of the reason why the company plans to start charging unvaccinated employees $200 per month if they’re on the company’s insurance. Hitting employees in their paycheck to get them vaccinated? Kevin Volpp with the Penn Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE) said it might work. “We know from a lot of work in behavioral economics that a dollar lost is probably roughly twice that of a dollar gained. So a $200 penalty will have a…

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WHYY: The results of Philadelphia’s COVID-19 vaccine lottery? ‘Discouraging’

By In the News

From WHYY: There were more people getting vaccinated in the run-up to the first sweepstakes drawing, but taking all the weeks into consideration, the lottery did not lead to a statistically significant change in the number of people getting vaccinated. The conclusion is that the lottery did not make a significant difference at this point of the pandemic, and that public officials should think about other ways to entice people to get vaccinated. Katy Milkman, a behavioral scientist at the University of Pennsylvania and a co-author of the research, tweeted that the results are “discouraging.” James Garrow, communications director for the Philadelphia Department…

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The New York Times: F.D.A. Fully Approves Pfizer-BioNTech’s Vaccine, a First for a COVID-19 Shot

By In the News

From The New York Times: On Monday morning, the F.D.A. granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people 16 and up. It is the first vaccine to move beyond emergency-use status in the U.S., and officials hope it will persuade some of the 85 million unvaccinated Americans who are eligible for shots but have not received them. Data from 44,000 clinical trial participants in the United States, the European Union, Turkey, South Africa and South America showed the vaccine was 91 percent effective in preventing infection. So far, more than 92 million Americans — 54 percent of those fully inoculated —…

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