The Atlantic: A Very Simple Way to Get America Boosted

By In the News

From The Atlantic: Theoretically, incentives should work. Offering people cash to change health behaviors—whether to quit smoking or keep up with exercise—made a difference in previous studies. Cash might provide a fence-sitter justification to get vaccinated, or it might offer cover for someone whose desire for a vaccine goes against local social norms. And even though the COVID vaccines are free, they come with indirect costs, such as lost wages when taking time off from work to get a shot. But theory is different from practice. “It was completely unprecedented for 24 states, more or less at the same time, to…

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CNBC: Experts seriously doubt whether patent waivers on Covid-19 vaccines will ever come to be

By In the News

From CNBC: It’s been well over a year since a landmark proposal brought the issue of patent waiver for the mRNA Covid vaccine to the spotlight. But many observers don’t see that waiving the intellectual property (IP) rights on Covid vaccines is an effective way to put a stop to the pandemic. Supporters of patent waivers like Harsha Thirumurthy, associate professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, argue the issue lies at the heart of the reason why vaccines are less accessible in lower-income countries. “It limits how much manufacturing there can be of that product or…

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The Seattle Times: About 30% of fully vaccinated Americans have gotten boosted; omicron could speed things up

By In the News

From The Seattle Times: In public remarks in recent days, federal and state officials have implored people to get boosted as soon as they can. But public health experts and behavioral scientists say uncertainty about who needs boosters and how they help may explain why uptake isn’t higher. Still, they say booster numbers can rise, especially as messaging strengthens around the those doses amid concern about the omicron variant. “Uncertainty and confusion is always going to translate into lower uptake,” said Alison Buttenheim, a behavioral scientist who studies vaccine acceptance at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing. “It’s pretty…

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MedPage Today: Psychological Barriers May Lead to COVID Vaccine Refusal

By In the News

From MedPage Today: Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic — and 1 year after vaccines first became available — there are still those who are opting out of getting vaccinated. Deep distrust in government and science are among the reasons that some are continuing to hold out on the shots. But experts suggest that there are psychological barriers that may have nothing to do with mistrust. To understand all of the factors at play, we need to first recognize how the mind processes the act of making a decision — whether it is to opt in or out. On this…

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NPR: Study links abortion denial and poverty; Omission bias and vaccines

By In the News

From NPR: Chabeli Carrazana, a reporter for The 19th, talks about a study that found 72% of women who were denied access to abortion ended up living in poverty. And, human beings are not always good at assessing risk and making rational decisions. Professor Gretchen Chapman about omission bias and how we make decisions and weigh risks on NPR’s podcast: Here & Now. Listen to the full podcast in NPR.

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The Hill: Amid Challenges to Biden’s vaccine mandate, study shows they work

By In the News

From The Hill: In early November, the Biden administration announced that large companies with 100 or more employees would have until Jan. 4, 2022, to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or to require unvaccinated workers to undergo weekly testing. Companies that fail to comply with this ruling may be fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Twenty-four states and several governors have threatened to challenge the ruling in court, and a federal appeals court has temporarily blocked the mandate. Some business owners also have expressed fear that mandating the vaccine could intensify existing staffing shortages. Many politicians have shied away from mandates,…

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ABC Action News: COVID-19 vaccine incentives offered for children

By In the News

From ABC Action News: Districts are offering incentives like gift cards, tickets to sporting events and amusement parks, and raffle entries for things like scholarships and bigger prizes. Regardless of how convincing children can be, economics professor Iwan Barankay says the evidence is stacking up that these sorts of incentives don’t really improve vaccine rates much. He says it’s more likely schools have COVID-19 money to spend and will argue if it helps even a few, it’s worth it. Barankay believes two other factors will play more of a role in swaying families to vaccinate children. He says the motivation…

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TIME Magazine: Why Schools Are Paying Kids to Get Vaccinated

By In the News

From TIME:  Emily Largent, an assistant professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, says “small, guaranteed incentives” tend to work better than big prizes that aren’t guaranteed, like lotteries. She notes that $100 is unlikely to sway someone who is opposed to vaccines, but it could help ease logistical barriers to vaccination, including transportation costs or time off from work. “To the extent that offering that small cash incentive helps overcome those barriers, it can be really helpful for getting people who are open to being vaccinated across the line and removing barriers…

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