Claudio Deiana, Andrea Geraci, Gianluca Mazzarella, Fabio Sabatini, 23 April 2022

Vaccine hesitancy has threatened the success of COVID immunisation campaigns worldwide, making the reasons that people refuse vaccination a central issue for policymakers. This column exploits a quasi-experiment arising from the suspension of the ChAdOx1-S vaccine – initially called AstraZeneca and later rebranded Vaxzevria – during the Italian immunisation campaign. The authors find that the suspension led to the public inflating the risk of vaccine-adverse events and in turn fuelled vaccine hesitancy, especially in areas with fewer cases. 

Vu Minh Ngo, Klaus F. Zimmermann, Phuc V. Nguyen, Toan L.D. Huynh, Huan Huu Nguyen, 25 January 2022

Because vaccinations are crucial to containing the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to identify the key factors behind successful immunisation campaigns. This column shows that pandemic pressures, economic strength, educational advancement, and political regimes can affect vaccination uptake, given vaccine availability. While democratic regimes initially show faster vaccination uptake, this advantage fades out as countries try to get more people vaccinated. Countries with strong economies and education systems are likely to have faster uptake of vaccination campaigns.

Shusaku Sasaki, Tomoya Saito, Fumio Ohtake, 13 December 2021

Vaccination promotion is crucial to ending the Covid-19 pandemic. This column reports on an experiment in Japan examining whether people altered their vaccination intentions based on information about how their decision could affect vaccine uptake by others. Hearing that getting vaccinated could encourage uptake by others around them increased the proportion of older adults who would receive the vaccine if offered for free, while hearing that not getting vaccinated may discourage uptake by others strengthened the intention to get vaccinated among older adults who had already indicated their willingness to be vaccinated. Finally, hearing how likely others of a similar age were to get vaccinated also strengthened existing intentions – whether pro- or anti-vaccination. The ‘nudges’ did not appear to have an effect on younger adults. 

Tom Y. Chang, Mireille Jacobson, Manisha Shah, Rajiv Pramanik, Samir B. Shah, 08 December 2021

In the race to protect health and economies from COVID-19, governments must convince vaccine-hesitant populations to get jabbed. This column reports on a study in which unvaccinated members of a Medicaid-managed healthcare plan in the US were offered either financial incentives, different public health messages, or a simple vaccination appointment scheduler. None of the schemes increased overall vaccination rates in this vaccine-hesitant population. Improving take-up may likely require stronger policy levers, from employer rules to government mandates.

Mathias Dewatripont, 16 November 2021

Is vaccination a choice or a responsibility? Through 2021, policymakers across Europe have used vaccine passports to keep others safe and counter vaccine hesitancy. Mathias Dewatripont discusses the mixed evidence for their effectiveness with Tim Phillips.

Read more about the research discussed in this interview:

Mathias Dewatripont, Vaccination strategies in the midst of an epidemic, CEPR Policy Insight No 110

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