Sweden joins China and other countries in offering benefits to be vaccinated

Several countries including China and India have already introduced benefits in the form of gifts or cash amounts to motivate citizens to be vaccinated and now the Nordic country of Sweden is joining in as well, BT writes.

In April, The Washington Post reported that local Chinese government officials and businesses were using incentives such as complimentary chicken wings, free eggs, supermarket vouchers, and cash prizes to persuade reluctant residents to be vaccinated. The move was part of a mass drive to catch up with other countries that were closer to achieving herd immunity and to vaccinate almost half the Chinese population by summer.

At the end of May, media DNA reported that the Central government in India had offered a cash prize to lure people into getting the vaccine. According to the government website, the top 10 best photos of people getting the vaccine along with a tagline will get Rs 5000 till the end of 2021.

To boost the vaccine interest in Sweden, selected Swedes are now also being offered money to be vaccinated. According to BT’s article, 8,200 unvaccinated Swedes under the age of 60 have been offered a small amount of SEK 200 to get vaccinated.

BT writes that according to Erik Wengstrom, professor of economics at Lund University, who is behind the study, the small amount can just give the extra boost they need. “People may have the intention of being vaccinated, but maybe it involves a bit of hassle and something always gets in the way. So a little incentive might help,” he said. 

However, not all participants in the study are offered money and the experimental group is divided into several different groups, each of which is tested on which techniques can persuade people to get vaccinated. The techniques tested are Nudge techniques that try to influence people’s behavior in a certain direction and include distributing brochures on the benefits and side effects of vaccines, asking people to consider the best argument to persuade others to accept the vaccine, and compiling a list of the group’s loved ones to make them think about how the vaccine can protect others.

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