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How to Increase Vaccination Readiness

According to a new study, various strategies can be used to noticeably increase the willingness to be vaccinated, especially among the undecided. Researchers from the WZB and Humboldt University have specifically examined three instruments for their effect: the return of freedoms for vaccinated persons, financial incentives and vaccinations at family doctors. For this purpose, a representative sample of 20,500 people throughout Germany was surveyed.

According to estimates, at least 60 to 70 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated to stop the Corona pandemic. But many people are reluctant to be vaccinated or refuse vaccination altogether. This raises the question of what strategies governments can pursue to achieve the necessary "herd immunity" in the population.

The study results show that all three strategies examined are capable of increasing vaccination readiness in the population. In particular, within the undecided group, willingness to vaccinate can be increased markedly: individually, each of the three strategies can increase willingness to vaccinate by about 5 percentage points, and in combination by up to 13 percentage points. In contrast, the three strategies have hardly any effect in the group of vaccination opponents.

Moreover, it can be observed that the three strategies work differently for different population groups. While the willingness to vaccinate of older respondents can be increased primarily by vaccinating at the family doctor's office, younger respondents can be convinced to vaccinate particularly well by the prospect of more freedom. A financial incentive can also noticeably increase willingness to vaccinate, although the amount of the payment certainly plays a role. Only if the amount is sufficiently high (50 euros) is there an effect, whereas a sum that is too low (25 euros) is hardly significant.

The study was funded by the Berlin Cluster of Excellence Scripts ("Contestations of the Liberal Script"), one of the seven Berlin Clusters of Excellence funded by the federal and state governments as part of the Excellence Strategy.




10.5.2021, CR

The study has been published as a preprint and can be read here.

Klüver, H., Hartmann, F., Humphreys, M., Geissler, F., & Giesecke, J. (2021, May 9). What incentives can spur Covid-19 vaccination uptake?

Porträtfoto Macartan Humphreys
Jacobia Dahm

Co-author of the study is Professor Macartan Humphreys, Director of the Institutions and Political Inequality Unit at the WZB.