Consumers COVID

Jolene, Jolene, Pay Me to Get the Vaccine


Remember when your parents had to bribe you with a few dollars to weed the garden, pick up dog poop, or clean your room? Now how much would you have to get paid to help end a global pandemic? In some cases, it’s not just a hypothetical – West Virginia is paying young people $100 to get vaccinated. Unfortunately, for some vaccine-hesitant Americans, it’s going to take more than a single Benjamin.


As public health authorities, healthcare providers, employers, and individuals are grappling with what it would take to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, vaccines are the surest (also literally the sharpest) tool in our shed. Yet, with a fifth of Americans hesitant to receive a vaccine, we conducted a conjoint experiment to estimate how many dollars the average vaccine-hesitant American would expect in exchange for getting the vaccine.

Like any good American consumer (that is our national pastime, right?) we are no strangers to making choices between different brands at different prices. So, we offered vaccine-hesitant respondents one of the three vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J) in exchange for a payment ranging from $10 to $500.



The consumers have spoken and not all vaccines are created equal. Although the J&J vaccine requires only one dose (and one trip to the pharmacy, one lunchtime burrito, one vaccine selfie, and one sore arm), vaccine-hesitant Americans would need to be paid $244 more to receive it than the Pfizer vaccine. To receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, payments would need to be $337 and $327, respectively. Dolly Parton FTW.


Have a look here at Managing Director Tom Vladeck’s post that gets under the hood of the methodology and results.