Poll: Freebies Could Convince Most Unvaccinated Adults to Get the Covid Shot

Anything from a $1,000 savings bond to just 50 bucks would be enough to sway a good chunk of unvaccinated Americans to get their first Covid-19 jab.

Registered nurse Ashleigh Velasco, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine to Rosemene Lordeus, right, at a clinic held by Healthcare Network in Immokalee, Fla., April 10. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

(CN) — Many Americans say they remain less than eager to get themselves vaccinated against Covid-19 and remain skeptical of the vaccine’s safety – but the right financial incentive may be just the thing to change their mind.

Since the Covid-19 vaccination rollout began in earnest and more age groups become eligible to get the shot, businesses and local governments around the country have started to offer a myriad of freebies to those who show proof of getting at least one dose of the Covid vaccine. Anything from free doughnuts and beer, to cash to vaccinated employees, have been dangled before Americans to help bring them to the vaccination site.

President Joe Biden said this week that he believes these vaccine incentives were likely to work for many Americans — and now new polling data agrees.

According to a poll released Thursday by Morning Consult, 57% of unvaccinated adults say a $1,000 savings bond would be enough to convince them to get a Covid shot. While 43% said that wouldn’t be enough to sway them, younger adults under the age of 45 — the group that has shown the most vaccination hesitation — are most likely to say a hefty cash reward would do the job.

The poll found the incentive doesn’t have to be that large to still persuade a lot of people. A little under half of Americans say just a $50 bond would make them more willing to get a vaccine, particularly among younger individuals.

While most Americans are open to perks like these when making their vaccination decisions, they seem just as receptive to less charitable incentives.

Nearly six in ten adults say they would get a Covid-19 shot if it were required for them to be able to shop or work in person, while around half they would do it if that’s what it took to sit down at a restaurant or get on an airplane.

These numbers come in as most unvaccinated Americans list safety concerns as their main reason for putting off a Covid shot. More than 40% say they are worried about long-term consequences of the vaccine, while around 30% say the same for the short-term effects. Another 39% believe information about the vaccines is too unclear.

Not all unvaccinated adults have these fears, however. Nearly a quarter of Americans say they plan on getting the jab soon, while around 10% say they’re just waiting for a vaccine appointment or their preferred shot to become more readily available.

Prospects of an easier and quicker experience play an important role for unvaccinated Americans. Around half of them say that employers offering a Covid jab at work or more walk-in vaccine locations would be enough for them accept a shot.

Even without incentives to drive more Americans to a vaccination site, many Americans would also be swayed by perhaps the simplest motivator of all: the word of a loved one. Nearly a quarter of unvaccinated Americans say they have at least one person in their lives — with most listing a family member or spouse — who could singlehandedly convince them to get the shot. Another half say they would do it if it came highly recommended from someone they absolutely trusted.

Thursday’s poll of 2,200 adults contained a margin of error of plus or minus 2%.

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