Monetary incentives increase COVID-19 vaccinations

Science. 2021 Nov 12;374(6569):879-882. doi: 10.1126/science.abm0475. Epub 2021 Oct 7.


The stalling of COVID-19 vaccination rates threatens public health. To increase vaccination rates, governments across the world are considering the use of monetary incentives. Here we present evidence about the effect of guaranteed payments on COVID-19 vaccination uptake. We ran a large preregistered randomized controlled trial (with 8286 participants) in Sweden and linked the data to population-wide administrative vaccination records. We found that modest monetary payments of 24 US dollars (200 Swedish kronor) increased vaccination rates by 4.2 percentage points (P = 0.005), from a baseline rate of 71.6%. By contrast, behavioral nudges increased stated intentions to become vaccinated but had only small and not statistically significant impacts on vaccination rates. The results highlight the potential of modest monetary incentives to raise vaccination rates.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • COVID-19 Vaccines*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Records
  • Reimbursement, Incentive*
  • Sweden
  • Vaccination / economics*
  • Vaccination / methods*
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult


  • COVID-19 Vaccines