Duke professor explains why cash incentives for vaccinations work

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Thursday, June 10, 2021
Duke professor explains why cash incentives for vaccinations work
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North Carolina's financial incentive plan is similar to the one in Ohio, which led to a large increase in vaccinations.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- State leaders are hoping the new vaccination financial incentive program will persuade more residents to roll up their sleeves.

Right now, 54 percent of the adult population in North Carolina is partially vaccinated. The state's goal is at least 66 percent.

Raleigh resident Logan Barabe hasn't received the vaccine, and he doesn't intend to regardless of what's being offered.

READ MORE: Your Shot at $1 Million: Cooper announces prizes, college scholarships as vaccine incentives in NC

"He (Gov. Roy Cooper) could offer to pay the bills for a year and I'd still say 'no,'" Barabe said.

Others say they could be persuaded.

There will be multiple drawings for a million-dollar prize during the next three months.

Students could also win money to pay for in-state college if they get vaccinated.

"The virus is out there and those variants are out there and they're infecting unvaccinated people," said physician Dr. Ashish Jha.

Duke University Psychology Dr. Rick Larrick, who studies decision-making, said incentives are an effective tool.

"People's imaginations are captivated by big numbers. That's the reason why so many folks play the lottery," he said.

Ohio's vaccination-incentive program led to a 53% hike in vaccination rates shortly after the initiative was announced.

North Carolina's plan to similar to the one in Ohio.

"Once we get most people vaccinated, we're able to get rid of masks and actually get back to a normal life," said Raleigh resident Ayush Shah.

There are some stipulations that come along with the million-dollar prizes. Winners have to agree to release their name publically. The prize will be subject to federal and state taxes.