Incentives in the US to increase vaccination 2:44
(CNN Spanish) – Some states in the United States are offering incentives from food, gift cards and even money to people who get vaccinated against COVID-19. In this episode, Dr. Elmer Huerta explains the psychological and social reason behind this decision.
You can listen to this episode on Spotify or your favorite podcast platform or read the transcript below.
Hello, I am Dr. Elmer Huerta and this is your daily information on the new coronavirus. Information that we hope will be useful to take care of your health and that of your family.
Today we will see how we should interpret the incentives that are being offered in the United States to encourage people to get vaccinated.
Since the vaccination campaign began in the United States in December 2020, public health professionals have had the opportunity to witness exceptionally the validity of Dr. Everett Rogers’ theory of adoption of innovations.
The history of that theory is very interesting.
The theory behind vaccination incentives
Dr. Everett Rogers was a sociologist born in the state of Iowa who remembered that his father, a farmer, was very reluctant to accept a new type of corn seed – resistant to pests and with a higher yield per hectare – that had been developed by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Based on previous studies that investigated precisely why farmers in Iowa did not want to accept such an innovation, Dr. Rogers wrote in 1962 a book called “Diffusion of Innovations” in which he describes that all human beings do not adopt an equal way. innovation.
In that sense, and as we heard in the episodes of January 19 and May 5, when exposed to an innovation (in this case, a vaccine) we humans do not adopt it in the same way.
The different ‘adopters’ of innovation
The first people to adopt it are the so-called innovators, who constitute 2.5% of the population. In the case of vaccines, those innovators were the first to get them, waiting impatiently at vaccination sites.
Then follow the early adopters, who constitute 13.5% of the population, and are those who will not be vaccinated on the first or second day, but will do so in the following days.
This is followed by 34% of the population, called the early majority, made up of those people who will wait a few weeks or months to get vaccinated because they want to make sure the vaccine is safe and does not cause problems.
Those of the early majority are followed by a very important group in society, called the late majority, which constitutes another 34% of the population. This is the group that for various reasons is much more reluctant to adopt innovation, in this case, to be vaccinated, and therefore needs incentives.
Finally, 16% of the population is in the group of so-called laggards, who will never embrace innovation. That is, they will not be vaccinated.
Who has been vaccinated in the US?
Apparently, and according to the distribution of the population in the curve of adoption of innovations, in the United States the innovators, the early adopters and the early majority have already been vaccinated, which coincidentally adds up to 50% of the population, which is the adult proportion of the country that has already been vaccinated.
The great challenge that public health authorities now have is to convince the late majority – who refuse to accept the innovation that the vaccine represents – to do so, and thus achieve immunity for the herd or society.
It is in this context that the multiple incentives that the public health authorities in the United States are offering should be seen, and which began to be known when a national food chain began to give a donut to each person who shows their covid vaccination card -19. Other vaccination centers offered free beers and prepaid gift cards.
Subsequently, a national chain of pharmacies offered giveaways for $ 5,000 for family reunions, week-long cruises, and options on electronic dating apps for couples.
For its part, an airline has offered members of its frequent flyer plan to upload a copy of their vaccination card to the cloud before June 22, in order to have the opportunity to win free flights for a year.
The New York governorate announced it will raffle 50 four-year college scholarships for teens who get vaccinated before July 7.
Similarly, the state of Maryland announced that it will hold 40 daily drawings for $ 40,000 each and a $ 400,000 jackpot on July 4.
A promoter of rock concerts in Florida announced that the price of tickets to the concert would be $ 18 for the vaccinated and almost $ 1,000 for the unvaccinated.
The millionaire incentive everyone talks about
But without a doubt, the initiative that captured the world’s attention was the May 12 announcement, in which the state of Ohio was offering a $ 1 million lottery and college scholarship opportunities to all who get vaccinated.
In announcing the first winners on May 26, the governor reported that nearly 2.8 million Ohioans signed up for the lottery, a fact that will undoubtedly alleviate and contribute to improving just over 37% of the evacuation coverage of that state, compared to 41.1% of the national average.
As we said, social psychologists and other health authorities are witnesses first-hand to the validity of the theory of diffusion of innovations, and that incentives are necessary to convince the late majority of society.
Do you have questions about the coronavirus?
Send me your questions on Twitter, we will try to answer them in our next episodes. You can find me at @DrHuerta.
If you think this podcast is useful, help others find it by rating and reviewing it on your favorite podcast app. We’ll be back tomorrow so be sure to subscribe to get the latest episode on your account.
And for the most up-to-date information you can always head to CNNEspanol.com. Thanks for your attention.
If you have any questions you can send them to Dr. Elmer Huerta through Twitter. You can also head over to CNNE.com/coronaviruspodcast for all episodes of our “Coronavirus: Reality vs. Reality” podcast. fiction”.