Are vaccine incentives and mandates the right approach?

President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced a tax credit for businesses to give employees paid leave to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Drexel University says it will be a vaccinated campus in the fall. No COVID vaccine means no in-person learning, campus living, or school activities.

"Going next Thursday to get shot," one student said. "I’m good for it. I already signed up to get one and I’m excited to come back in the fall."

This Drexel sophomore says he’s not ready for the shot.

"I’ll take my time with it I’ve been ok for the past year so I can hold out for a little longer," he said.

On Wednesday, President Biden announced another new tax credit for small and medium-sized businesses that give employees time off to get the shot.  

Krispy Kreme is offering a free donut a day to anyone who shows their vaccination card and the NFL Network talking vaccine incentives at the NFL draft next week. Fans who are vaccinated may be invited to view the draft from the exclusive "inner circle" in Cleveland.

But is this an effective approach from a public health standpoint? Harald Schmidt, assistant professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, says no. He says access and trust are key.

"Understanding the barriers is more important than saying it’s really important for you to be vaccinated," he said.

Schmidt adds incentives for all doesn’t make sense economically and incentives for some is stigmatizing while mandates are understandable they can also trigger pushback.

"So let’s work with people to get vaccinated rather than threaten them which will be how mandates are perceived," Schmidt said.


Biden announces tax credits for small businesses offering paid leave for COVID-19 vaccination



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