A policy to promote influenza vaccination: a behavioral economic approach

Health Policy. 2010 Oct;97(2-3):238-49. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2010.05.008. Epub 2010 Jun 11.


The aims of this study were to identify the predictors of people's willingness to be vaccinated against influenza and to determine how to improve the inoculation rate. The study was based upon the results of our original large-scale survey conducted in the USA in 2005. A model of bounded rationality can explain vaccination behavior fairly well: (a) people evaluate the costs and benefits of vaccination by applying risk aversion and time preference; (b) the 'status quo bias' of those who were vaccinated in the past affects their decision to be vaccinated in the future; and (c) overconfidence indirectly affects the decision through the moderation of perceived variables. Policy implications include: (a) dissemination of information about the vaccine is especially important among people who are inexperienced with the vaccine since they undervalue the effectiveness of vaccination; (b) lowering the total cost of vaccination, including time costs (for example, by offering the vaccine at workplaces) may raise the inoculation rate, especially among those inexperienced with the vaccine, since those who have experience with the vaccine tend to take it on a regular basis.

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Vaccination* / economics
  • Vaccination* / statistics & numerical data