The COVID-19 pandemic forms an unprecedented public health, economic, and social crisis. Uptake of vaccination is critical for controlling the pandemic. Nevertheless, vaccination hesitancy is considerable, requiring policies to promote uptake. We investigate Dutch citizens’ preferences for policies that aim to promote vaccination through facilitating choice of vaccination, profiling it as the norm, making vaccination more attractive through rewards, or punishing people who reject vaccination.
We conducted a discrete choice experiment in which 747 respondents were asked to choose between policies to promote vaccination uptake and their impacts on the number of deaths, people with permanent health problems, households with income loss, and a tax increase.
Respondents generally had a negative preference for policies that promote vaccination. They particularly disliked policies that punish those who reject the vaccine and were more favorable toward policies that reward vaccination, such as awarding additional rights to vaccinated individuals through vaccination passports. Respondents who reject vaccination were in general much more negative about the policy options than respondents who consider accepting the vaccine. Nevertheless, vaccination passports are supported by both respondents who accept the vaccine, those who reject vaccination, and those who are unsure about vaccination.
This study provides concrete directions for governments attempting to increase the vaccination uptake in ways that are supported by the public. Our results could encourage policy makers to focus on policy options that make vaccination easier and reward people who take the vaccine, as especially the implementation of vaccination passports was supported.
Niek Mouter Sander Boxebeld Roselinde Kessels Maarten van Wijhe Ardine de Wit Mattijs Lambooij Job van Exel