Overcome vaccine hesitation with the right rewards


Prepaid reward cards are a convenient way to get Americans vaccinated against COVID-19

After more than a year of ups and downs, America is once again seeing a large surge in new COVID-19 cases. The new “delta” variant of COVID-19 is more contagious than the strain we dealt with in 2020. Meanwhile, the new vaccines that helped reduce COVID-19 cases this spring are now available to everyone age 12 and older in all 50 states-and half of all US adults are already fully vaccinated.

The delta variant can sometimes be spread by vaccinated people, according to the CDC. However, getting vaccinated is still the most effective way we have to reduce the severity of COVID-19. The number of vaccine doses administered every day peaked in early April, and it has slowed steadily since. Now, governments and organizations are looking for ways to encourage people to get vaccinated and protect themselves.

There are a lot of legitimate reasons why people aren’t rushing out to get vaccinated. Though a few people are certainly dead-set against the vaccines, many more people are simply hesitant. Governments and organizations around the country are trying to gently nudge the vaccine-hesitant population with various incentives.

Major League Baseball teams like the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets are offering fans free tickets in exchange for getting vaccinated. West Virginia is offering $100 savings bonds to young people who get vaccinated, and Ohio drew national attention for setting up a $1 million vaccine lottery drawing for vaccinated people. After the lottery was announced, vaccines administered in Ohio jumped by 33% and other states soon followed suit. The idea that money is persuasive for getting people vaccinated is also backed up by a recent UCLA study, which found that roughly one in three unvaccinated Americans said that cash would make them more likely to get vaccinated. Money is especially effective at motivating younger adults.

According to our recent study, 40% of not fully vaccinated 18-29 year-olds said they would get vaccinated for an incentive of $100 or less.*

It’s no surprise to us that rewards work, of course. We spend a lot of time helping companies craft rewards that help them get things done. The right incentive can increase sales or boost customer loyalty. Our clients have even used them to help employees quit smoking!

Prepaid cards might prove to be the perfect incentive for organizations trying to persuade people to get vaccinated. For recipients, prepaid rewards are convenient to use, even for folks without bank accounts, and are easily accepted online and in stores. Our digital reward cards can be distributed by email in moments. For the public, they’re just as motivating as cash-but for you, they’re much more efficient and easier to distribute.

Blackhawk Network has been helping governments and charitable organizations distribute aid throughout the pandemic. If you're trying to encourage people to get vaccinated, our rewards could help you get there.

Contact us now for a program evaluation.


*Source: Blackhawk Network research survey of employed workers in the US, June 2021 Sample size was 951.

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