Background: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has considerably affected the lives of people worldwide, impacting their health and economic welfare, and changing the behavior of our society significantly. This situation may lead to a strong incentive for people to buy a vaccine. Therefore, a relevant study to assess individuals' choices and the value of change in welfare from a COVID-19 vaccine is essential.
Objective: This study aimed to estimate the willingness-to-pay (WTP) value for a vaccine for COVID-19. We also identify the variables that influence individual vaccination decisions, which could be used in the design of vaccination promotion strategies.
Methods: We use the contingent valuation method in its double-bounded dichotomous choice format. The estimation coefficients are calculated according to the maximum likelihood method under the assumption of a probit distribution. The sample consisted of 531 individuals, mainly from middle- and high-income socioeconomic groups from Chile between enrolled between 10 July and 10 August 2020.
Results: The results show a high WTP for the COVID-19 vaccine, with a value up to US$232. Income and education levels and having family members with COVID-19 increased the likelihood of persons paying for a vaccine. There is also a greater fear as the pandemic progresses that people will get sick from COVID-19.
Conclusions: The high WTP value creates an opportunity for formulating public health policy. The results of this study suggest that governments can provide the vaccine free to low-income groups and allow those with higher incomes to acquire the vaccine through the private sector by paying. This will be useful especially for countries with economic difficulties.