Risk Perception and Vaccine Incentives in the context of Covid 19
Risk Perception and Vaccine Incentives in the context of Covid 19 by Emma Howard, Technological University Dublin
18th Jan 2022 online
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This paper investigates how best to communicate health risks, and incentivise vaccine uptake in the context of Covid19. Using a randomised experimental survey design on a nationally representative sample of Irish adults the survey tests (1) how data on the risks of transmitting Covid19 can best be communicated, and (2) how information on vaccines can be presented to maximise uptake. Additionally, the survey measures perceived relative risk of death from Covid19 and tests incentives to increase vaccine uptake. The analysis shows a majority of adults perceive a higher risk of death from Covid19 for others than they perceive for themselves, and that the risk factors of age and underlying health conditions are well understood. The treatment designed to better communicate Covid 19 transmission risks has very little effect, suggesting that people believe they understand the transmission mechanisms and mitigation strategies. The results show only a small percentage of Irish adults are vaccine hesitant, and the hesitant are more likely to be young and female. Voting behaviour explains much of the variation in likelihood of vaccine acceptance, with those who voted for government parties more likely to accept a vaccine. All the incentives tested were unpopular. The average likely vaccine uptake under the incentives was significantly lower than without the incentive in place. However, for those who are vaccine hesitant, three of the policy incentives tested increased their likelihood of accepting a vaccine.