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Using lotteries to speed up corona-vaccine uptake

In effort to expedite progress in coronavirus vaccine uptake, several countries have started incentivising prospective vaccine-takers with lotteries and the chance of a big win. Research co produced with Misum's Executive Director explores this growing public health incentive.

In the USA hefty cash prizes of up to 1,5 million USD are being offered in some states, whilst in Moscow, cars are being raffled off to vaccine-taking residents on a weekly basis. Whilst these practices may seem different, lotteries as public health incentives have been in use long before covid-19.

Martina Björkman Nyqvist, Executive Director of Misum and Associate Professor at SSE co-produced the only rigorous evaluation on using lotteries as a financial incentive in public health with three co-authors. This weekend their research was featured in the Washington Post article ‘Lotteries as public health incentives began before covid-19’.

The article examines historical use of lottery incentives and explores the instances of lotteries being connected to vaccination drives during the pandemic. It weighs up a set of considerations exploring if this method is something that other countries – which objectively includes Sweden - could pick up on to accelerate vaccination progress or to reach low-uptake populations.