Vaccinations for COVID-19 are ongoing. Over two hundred million vaccine doses have been injected. Over a hundred million people are vaccinated. There is starting to be significant variation in ongoing daily vaccine throughput as a function of geography and political leanings. Each vaccine that goes into an arm provides significant individual level protection to the recipient and incremental community protection because COVID will have a harder time spreading. The pace of current and future vaccination is varying as the first adapters are mostly already either fully vaccinated or in the process of getting vaccination. Now we’re trying to vaccinate either the majority of the population or starting to reach out to the resistant hold-outs.
We’re going to see a lot of different incentives.
We already have donut based incentives. Krispy Kreme will give out a free donut to anyone with a vaccination card.
West Virginia is offering a $100 savings bond for new vaccine recipients:
During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that as part of his ongoing initiative to get more younger residents vaccinated, West Virginia will begin offering a $100 savings bond to each person from 16 to 35 years old who chooses to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
“We have vetted this in every way that we possibly can to be assured that we can use our CARES dollars to do exactly just this,” Gov. Justice said.
The incentive will be retroactive, meaning all West Virginians age 16 to 35 who have already been vaccinated will also receive a $100 savings bond.
New Jersey is offering beer:
New Jersey is rolling out a “shot and a beer” campaign to encourage vaccination pic.twitter.com/KtUgsLF5DI
— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) May 3, 2021
And Maryland is offering state employees $100 to get vaccinated:
Today I announced that the State of Maryland will offer a $100 financial incentive to state employees who receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We strongly encourage businesses across the state to consider offering incentives to their workers as well.
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) May 3, 2021
These are carrot approaches. We also have stick approaches as an increasing number of universities are requiring all students to come back on campus in the fall vaccinated. Many universities that will be requiring a vaccination in the fall to return to campus are attempting to vaccinate as many current students now, before they leave campus for the summer but this will vary.
Incentives will matter to get the next 40% of the population vaccinated. I personally think short term, immediately available incentives will be more effective than long term and non-fungible incentives. Cash, gift cards, good beer and a meal are likely more relevant and valued by 16-35 year-olds than a savings bond. But both are worth a shot. I also think that making vaccinations easier is likely to have more immediate impact than small cash or cash like incentives.
But right now, efforts to get people vaccinated are ongoing and different ideas are worth exploring even if some of them may not shake out all that effectively.