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Targeted Vaccine Subsidies for Healthcare Workers


  • Troy Tassier

    (Fordham University, Department of Economics)

  • Phillip Polgreen

    (University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine)

  • Alberto Segre

    (University of Iowa, Department of Computer Science)


We study the public goods problem associated with vaccinations. The externality created by an infection is composed of two parts, the probability of infection and the marginal infections generated if infected. We argue that the key component in a successful vaccination strategy is the second of these items but that current public policy focuses on the first. We use a newly collected data set coupled with agent-based simulations to study the spread of influenza and other infectious diseases in hospitals. We estimate the marginal infections created by various worker groups in a hospital in order to prioritize vaccine allocations across different healthcare worker groups in times of vaccine shortages. One primary focus of this paper is identifying the individual hospital workers who are most important to vaccinate. Surprisingly, we find that many groups with patient care responsibilities, such as physicians, play a small role in spreading influenza while others, such as unit clerks, play a much larger role.

Suggested Citation

  • Troy Tassier & Phillip Polgreen & Alberto Segre, 2009. "Targeted Vaccine Subsidies for Healthcare Workers," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2009-07, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:frd:wpaper:dp2009-07

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Border Crossings: The Spread of COVID-19 across U.S. Counties
      by Jason Barr in Skynomics Blog on 2020-05-19 12:11:10


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    Cited by:

    1. Troy Tassier & Philip Polgreen & Alberto Segre, 2015. "Vaccination Games with Peer Effects in a Heterogeneous Hospital Worker Population," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, vol. 5(1), pages 1-25, January.

    More about this item


    Influenza vaccine; social networks; vaccine subsidies;
    All these keywords.

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