Do financial incentives increase adult vaccinations? A view of lessons learned

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Cash transfers have yielded limited outcomes in increasing vaccination efforts among adults, according to research led by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Wits). The impact of lottery programs has also been limited, and there is no evidence that other non-cash incentives for COVID-19 or other adult vaccines have improved vaccination coverage. The findings were published online in the journal Vaccine: X.

Incentives aimed at individuals to encourage them to get vaccinated included direct cash transfers, lottery tickets, and non-financial incentives, such as food, appliances, and marijuana. In New York City, residents were offered a range of items—from a $100 pre-paid debit card to free amusement park tickets to a trip to the Statue of Liberty.

“While we found evidence of cash transfers increasing both the coverage and intention to be vaccinated, very…

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