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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Popular Science: Will Pfizer’s FDA approval spell an uptick in COVID vaccination?

By In the News

From Popular Science: In a recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 31 percent of unvaccinated respondents said they’d be more likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine once it had received full approval. However, what people say they’ll do doesn’t always line up with what they ultimately decide to do, says Silvia Saccardo, an assistant professor in the department of social and decision sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. She and her colleagues have studied how texting people reminders to get vaccinated affects their willingness and follow-through. They experimented with several kinds of messages. All of them contained links to appointment…

Read More

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 —…

Read More

Yahoo! News: Colleges impose coronavirus testing fees up to $1,500 for unvaccinated students

By In the News

From Yahoo! News: 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…

Read More

Politifact: Have vaccine lotteries worked? Studies so far show mixed results

By In the News

From Politifact: Researchers told PolitiFact that if the costs are modest, lotteries might be helpful in boosting vaccination rates, but other tactics may be more cost-effective. Meanwhile, policies that don’t involve a direct price tag at all, such as requiring vaccines for employees or students, may be more effective at this point in the pandemic, said Kevin Volpp, who co-authored the paper on the Philadelphia lotteries. “It’s time for governors to use their power to require vaccination where possible and not rely on financial incentive programs or other ‘lighter touch’ strategies,” Volpp said. In recent weeks, Washington state has required all teachers…

Read More

VICE: A Step-By-Step Guide to Convincing Your Un-Vaxxed Parents to Get Their Shots

By In the News

From VICE:  Alison Buttenheim, who designs trials for innovative interventions in public health like vaccine acceptance, recommended triaging your approach to determine why your parent is not yet vaccinated. Is it a misunderstanding of efficacy data and breakthrough cases, or is it about a 5G microchip? Maybe it’s somewhere in between. “This is sort of health counseling 101, but really listening and acknowledging where people are coming from is a big help,” she told VICE. “It gets you in the door to have the conversation.” Read the full story in VICE. 

Read More