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Karl W. Smith

Pay People to Get Vaccinated? Even Better, Pay Pharmacies

One way to increase vaccination rates is to give the private sector more of an incentive. 

The place to send a vaccine bonus.

The place to send a vaccine bonus.

Photographer: Gabriela Bhaskar/Bloomberg

Now that the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine is back on the market, the main issue in the U.S. is quickly becoming a lack of demand rather than a lack of supply. West Virginia has even begun offering an incentive — a $100 savings bond for those aged 16 to 35 — to encourage vaccinations.

This is undoubtedly the right way to go. Shaming people for not getting vaccinated is likely to backfire and harden resistance. On the other hand, the increasing prevalence of more infectious strains of Covid, and the possibility of new strains arising, means that current levels of vaccination are not nearly sufficient.