President Biden announced a “National Month of Action” in vaccination efforts and sponsors are lining up to offer incentives to reach the goal of 70% vaccination.
Incentives range in value, from state lotteries offering $1M prizes to… free beer?
Here’s a short list of newly-announced incentives and outreach tactics:
- Childcare: KinderCare and Learning Care Group locations across the nation will offer free, drop-in care to support Americans getting vaccinated, and more than 500 YMCAs will offer drop-in care during vaccination appointments. Bright Horizons will also provide free childcare to support more than 10 million workers employed at participating organizations. (Source: Cnn.com)
- Free beer: “Anheuser-Busch will buy America’s next round of beer, seltzer, non-alcoholic beverage or other A-B product.” (Source: Food & Wine magazine)
- Nationwide, neighborhood pharmacies will stay open late every Friday in June to allow for more vaccinations.
- “Shots at the Shop,” an initiative to engage Black-owned barbershops and beauty salons to conduct outreach and educate Americans about the vaccine kicks off this month. (Source: Ebony.com)
- 90+ cities across the country have signed on to the “Mayor’s challenge” to promote vaccine efforts in their cities (Source: usmayors.org)
Additionally, researchers looking to identify barriers to getting the vaccine are highlighting trends to keep in mind when conducting outreach to unvaccinated populations: namely, to those who are most cost-sensitive.
- A poll conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation indicated that about ⅓ unvaccinated adults were unsure whether insurance covered the vaccine
- Concerns over cost were higher among Hispanic and Black survey respondents
- Folks who have received large, unexpected medical bills in the past may be especially wary of “free” offers
- Working people may be concerned about the risk of vaccine side effects leading to lost work hours and smaller paychecks
- Those who may have received bills for Covid-19 testing (also touted as “free” but sometimes assessed site fees or other costs) may have diminished trust in messaging that vaccines are free or no-cost.
Results from the initial round of incentive programs like Ohio’s vax-a-million were incredibly promising. To reach the nationwide goal of 70%, we recommend officials ensure their unvaccinated populations be made aware of various benefits, like free childcare, that may offset concerns around cost.