Lotteries are an effective strategy for increasing booster uptake: Experimental evidence from Pakistan

Policy brief State Effectiveness

  • COVID-19 booster uptake is believed to be low in most countries, however, it is increasingly being recognised that regular boosters are necessary to manage the pandemic. 
  • To understand if behavioural interventions can lead to an uptake of COVID- 19 boosters, we conducted a survey with participants coming in for routine care to a major hospital in Lahore, Pakistan.
  • Each person received a randomised message incentivising them to get the vaccine booster with information on travel requirements, vaccine safety, receiving Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, a lottery entry to win money, and a control group who were asked if they would opt to get the booster during their visit.
  • Of the four treatment arms, the only one that led to booster uptake was for signing up for the lottery entry. This shows that cash prize incentives may be a practical way to increase voluntary booster uptake for many low-and middle-income countries. Policymakers can look at the results of this study to decide how they move forward with increasing booster uptake.