The affect of one-time private reminder messages

A big randomized managed trial printed in PNAS reviews that the speed of coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) booster vaccination will be elevated significantly by sending one-time private reminders somewhat than by providing small monetary incentives.

Research: Reminders, however not financial incentives, enhance COVID-19 booster uptake. Picture Credit score: Andrew Angelov /


COVID-19 booster vaccination is related to considerably larger efficacy as in comparison with main vaccination when it comes to decreasing COVID-19-related hospitalization and mortality. Regardless of life-saving well being advantages, a low uptake of booster vaccines has been noticed worldwide, largely due to vaccine hesitancy.

As of January 2023, solely 15% of america inhabitants acquired a booster dose. Extra strikingly, about 31% of the inhabitants has not even accomplished the COVID-19 main vaccination.     

With declining vaccine efficacy and the emergence of novel viral variants, COVID-19 booster vaccination has turn into the first focus of public well being campaigns to regulate the pandemic. In an try to extend the speed of booster vaccination, public well being businesses have adopted many methods, together with reminder messages and monetary incentives.

On this randomized managed trial, scientists examine the affect of reminder messages and monetary incentives on the COVID-19 booster vaccination fee.

Research design

This preregistered trial comprised 57,893 members in a county well being system in northern California. Reminder messages about getting COVID-19 booster vaccination inside subsequent two weeks have been despatched to the members in early December 2022, each with and with no small incentive of $25 U.S. {dollars} (USD) for vaccination.

The research members have been randomly categorized into three teams. The primary group acquired solely reminder messages, the second group acquired reminder messages with further details about monetary incentives, and the third (management) group didn’t obtain any reminders or monetary incentives.

Essential observations

The research inhabitants was ethnically various and largely had low monetary standing. About 96% of the research members had medical insurance coverage protection and solely 4% was uninsured. On common, the members acquired the primary COVID-19 vaccine roughly 1.5 years previous to the date of receiving reminder messages.

The evaluation of vaccination standing of the members revealed that each reminders and reminders mixed with monetary incentives elevated the speed of booster vaccination as in comparison with the management situation of no reminders and no monetary incentives.

As in comparison with the management group, booster vaccination charges elevated by 32.5% and 31.3% within the reminder and reminder plus monetary incentive teams, respectively. A relatively decrease vaccination fee within the reminder plus monetary incentive group signifies that monetary incentives do not need added advantages over reminders for rising vaccine uptake.

Differential impacts of research interventions on vaccine uptake have been noticed primarily based on age, language, message modality, and time since first vaccination. Reminder messages prompted larger induction in vaccination charges in older adults aged 65 years or older as in comparison with that in adults 65 years and youthful. Equally, larger vaccination charges have been noticed for Spanish reminders as in comparison with English reminders, in addition to for reminders despatched by textual content messages as in comparison with e-mail reminders.

Spanish audio system and people who acquired textual content reminders had low vaccination charges at baseline. These observations point out that research interventions can be significantly more practical for these two teams.

Research significance

A easy one-time reminder message can significantly enhance COVID-19 booster vaccination fee, particularly amongst high-risk teams, together with adults 65 years and older. Notably, the research findings point out {that a} small monetary incentive doesn’t enhance vaccine uptake greater than a easy reminder.

As noticed within the research, each 76.9 textual content or 169.5 e mail messages led to an extra booster vaccination. Assuming a marginal price of $0.10 USD for every message, scientists estimate that the fee for every further booster vaccination can be $7.69 USD for textual content messages and $16.95 USD for e mail messages. This highlights the usefulness of a easy reminder message as a low-cost technique to extend COVID-19 booster vaccination charges.

The present research consists of members from a single well being system, which restricts the generalizability of the findings. Furthermore, just one reminder was despatched to the members. Thus, extra research are wanted to discover the affect of repeated reminders and monitoring over an extended time period.      

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