So Things can change quickly. Until recently, the scarce vaccination doses were the biggest hurdle for the German vaccination campaign – but now, as in other countries, a new question arises: Do enough people want to be vaccinated? The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has set a quota of at least 85 percent as a new target in view of the Delta variant. They consider it “necessary and also achievable”, but recently warned that it was “crucial” that unvaccinated people are motivated to take advantage of the offer. Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) warned on Wednesday on Twitter: The vaccination rate is still high, but “we need a national vaccination jolt to keep it going in July and August.”
But what could this motivation look like? There are no signs of such unusual approaches as in the USA with lotteries, free beer and free marijuana. But the demands for positive incentives and low-threshold vaccination options are increasing. The researchers Jan Schnellenbach from the TU Cottbus-Senftenberg and Ekkehard Köhler from the University of Siegen are demanding a bonus for people who are vaccinated. This could be substantial, Schnellenbach told the FAZ. “I am thinking of 200 or 300 euros.” A recruitment bonus for vaccinated people who motivate friends or family members to be vaccinated is also useful and preferable to hard interventions such as mandatory vaccination.
“We will not get around compensations”
“With a bonus of 100 euros we are going towards 80 percent vaccination readiness,” said economist Nora Szech from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology of the FAZ. “With 500 euros we achieve 90 percent.”
These figures are based on a study that Szech published in April. The result: high payments are very effective, but amounts of $ 20 – the study was carried out in the USA – can even reduce willingness to vaccinate because the ethical importance of vaccination is weakened.
Szech has therefore been advocating high vaccination premiums for months, even for those who have already been vaccinated. Otherwise there would be an incentive for people who have not yet been vaccinated to wait until bonuses are introduced. The social value of a vaccination is 1500 euros, she quotes a study by the Ifo Institute. Part of it should be paid out to the citizens.
Other countries reacted earlier, she criticizes, referring to the example of Greece, where young adults receive 150 euros if they are or are vaccinated. “Now we are at the point where the vaccination supply exceeds the vaccination demand. I think it’s a shame that we waited so long. That could have been tackled weeks ago. “She is certain:” We will not get around compensations. “
Vaccination without a thousand handstands
The talk is not just about bonuses or other positive incentives – FDP boss Christian Lindner, for example, advocated free entry to museums. There are also increasing demands that vaccinations should be offered where the people are. According to participants, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn named football stadiums as an example in the CDU federal executive committee. The SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach spoke out in favor of mobile vaccination stations in busy places, in front of bars and clubs. Scientist Schnellenbach also thinks it makes sense: “Why not set up a vaccination stand in the shopping center?”
In this way, less educated groups can be reached better, says economist Szech. “We have to do more for the people who are ready to be vaccinated but not ready to do a thousand handstands for it. For many, it is not normal to embark on complex administrative processes. “
Schnellenbach adds: “We are in a phase where the people who have been waiting enthusiastically for a vaccination are taken care of.” Now it is about those who are not vaccine skeptics – they cannot be won over with bonuses – but rather sluggish. “A direct incentive works best.”
In view of the significantly greater freedom for vaccinated people, fewer requirements when traveling or in restaurants, the question arises as to what extent incentives such as bonuses will still be necessary – or whether the disadvantages for non-vaccinated people are not incentive enough. Michael Theurer, deputy parliamentary group leader of the FDP, just said that the freedom rights are “the best turbo against vaccination fatigue”.
But the figures published by the Federal Ministry of Health on the daily administered vaccine doses show that the vaccination campaign is slowing down. Accordingly, unlike in the previous weeks, more than a million doses were inoculated on a single day – and only just barely. Around 57 percent of Germans have so far received an initial vaccination, 39 percent are fully vaccinated against Corona.