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Incentivizing COVID-19 vaccination among racial/ethnic minority adults in the United States: $209 per dose could convince the hesitant


  • Kevin Chen

    (Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University)

  • Marta Wilson-Barthes

    (Brown University School of Public Health)

  • Jeffrey E. Harris

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Omar Galárraga

    (Brown University School of Public Health)


Background More than two years into the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, it remains unclear whether financial incentives can reduce vaccine hesitancy and improve uptake among key unvaccinated populations. This study estimated the willingness of racial/ethnic minority adults in the United States to accept financial incentives for COVID-19 vaccination and the minimum amount needed to vaccinate a sufficiently high percentage of this population. Methods From August through September 2021, we conducted an online survey of 367 Black/African American and Hispanic patients, age ≥ 18 years, from 8 community health centers in Rhode Island. Contingent valuation questions assessed respondents’ willingness-to-accept (WTA) incentives for COVID-19 vaccination using random-starting-points and iterative incentive offers of $5 to $50 per dose. Ordered logistic regression models examined associations between respondent characteristics and WTA. Predictive probabilities were modeled using both within-survey range and out-of-survey range incentive offer amounts and compared against vaccination thresholds needed to reach herd immunity. Results Less than 30% of unvaccinated survey respondents were WTA an incentive of $50/dose for vaccination. Models using out-of-survey incentive offer amounts greater than $50 suggested that 85% of respondents would agree $140/dose (95% CI: $43-$236) could convince other people to accept vaccination, while $209/dose (95% CI: -$91-$509) would be needed for 85% of respondents to accept vaccination themselves. Conclusions Findings from this analysis may inform the design of incentive schemes aiming to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in vaccine and booster uptake, which will continue to be important as new variants of SARS-CoV-2 emerge.

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  • Kevin Chen & Marta Wilson-Barthes & Jeffrey E. Harris & Omar Galárraga, 2023. "Incentivizing COVID-19 vaccination among racial/ethnic minority adults in the United States: $209 per dose could convince the hesitant," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 1-11, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:hecrev:v:13:y:2023:i:1:d:10.1186_s13561-023-00417-y
    DOI: 10.1186/s13561-023-00417-y

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jacob Wallace & Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham & Jason Schwartz, 2022. "Excess death rates for Republicans and Democrats during the COVID-19 pandemic," Papers 2209.10751,, revised Sep 2022.
    2. Daniel McFadden & Albert Bemmaor & Francis Caro & Jeff Dominitz & Byung-Hill Jun & Arthur Lewbel & Rosa Matzkin & Francesca Molinari & Norbert Schwarz & Robert Willis & Joachim Winter, 2005. "Statistical Analysis of Choice Experiments and Surveys," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 183-196, December.
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