The Philadelphia Inquirer: Guess which states are best at requiring vaccines? Not the ones you might think

By In the News

From The Philadelphia Inquirer: The term mandate may sound clear-cut, with no wiggle room. But the success of such policies can vary widely depending on how they are implemented, said Alison Buttenheim, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, who studies the behavioral aspects preventing infectious diseases. And as the showdown in New Jersey illustrated, the vaccine issue transcends party lines. The state’s Democratic lawmakers generally supported the move to eliminate religious exemptions and Republicans opposed it, but there were exceptions. And each year, New Jersey and many other blue states fall well short of getting…

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Bloomberg Law: As Vaccine Incentives Flounder, Messaging Revamp Called Critical

By In the News

From Bloomberg Law: A Biden administration push for states to pay low-income residents to get the Covid-19 shot is clashing with research findings that certain financial incentives are largely ineffective—leaving government officials on the line for new ways to bolster vaccination numbers. States across the nation have offered up gift cards, lottery tickets, and other perks to nudge the vaccine hesitant to get the jab. The Medicare agency is encouraging states to do more, greenlighting funds to create incentives for recipients of the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs. But research from academics at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago shows…

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Persuasion: How to Boost Vaccine Uptake

By In the News

From Persuasion: My attitude toward vaccine reluctance has gone through something like Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s five stages of grief: denial (“They’ll come around”), bewilderment (“How could people believe so much nonsense?”), frustration (“Seriously, what are these people thinking?”), anger (“It’s an epidemic of idiocy!”), and finally, acceptance (“Calm down, take a breath, this is complicated”). Acceptance does not mean moral acceptance. Nothing in this column suggests that people who choose to endanger themselves, their families, and their communities are doing something admirable. In a sober, sane, science-minded, non-polarized, high-trust, data-driven country, everyone without a compelling medical or religious reason would be rushing…

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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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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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