People to be paid for getting Covid-19 vaccine in Swedish study

People to be paid for getting Covid-19 vaccine in Swedish study
A drive-in vaccination centre in Gothenburg. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT
As part of a small Swedish academic study, people will receive 200 kronor for getting vaccinated against Covid-19.

Vaccination against Covid-19 is voluntary for everyone in Sweden, and in general vaccination status does not affect which recommendations and rules you need to follow, aside from in a few cases mostly related to overseas travel. Sweden has not introduced incentives for vaccination or mandated the vaccine for any specific groups, as has been the case in some other European countries.

A group of researchers, led by Erik Wengström from Lund University, are offering their own incentives to a small group in order to test if this affects vaccine uptake.

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In the study, around 8,000 participants were given one of four different incentives.

As well as the financial incentive paid in the form of a gift card, the methods for the other three groups were: information about the vaccines; asking participants to come up with an argument in favour of getting vaccinated; and listing people in their own life they would be protecting by getting vaccinated, while there was also a control group not given any of this methods.

Although the 200 kronor reward is not especially high (roughly the cost of a standard doctor’s visit in Sweden, though vaccinations against Covid-19 are free), Wengström explained to Sveriges Radio, “If it’s a high amount it can be hard to claim it is voluntary to get vaccinated; some could say it is coercive.” 

The results of the research, which will look at both the stated intention to get vaccinated among the different groups as well as the actual vaccine uptake, are expected in the autumn.

Since earlier this month, vaccination against Covid-19 has been open to all over-18s in Sweden, with booking already open to some younger teenagers and expected to be expanded later in the year. So far, around half of the adult population is fully vaccinated.


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