The Washington Post

Why 64.8 percent of Americans didn’t get a flu shot:

What can convince Americans to get immunized? Researchers at Wake Forest University recently conducted an experiment on this subject, and their findings weren’t exactly optimistic. The team — led by economists Fred Chen, Allin Cottrell and Amanda Griffith — had participants play a not-so-fun video game that simulated the spread of the flu. Players could earn points (later converted into gift cards) by staying healthy. They could also spend some of those points to buy a vaccine. In other words, they faced a choice: Should they pony up on a preventive measure early or roll the dice, save a few bucks and not buy the vaccine Researchers found that a few external factors made participants more likely to buy a vaccine. If the immunization was cheaper, vaccination rates went up. As the number of infections went up, too, players became more likely to decide to take the plunge and pay for immunization.  — Excerpt from Wonkblog post written by Sarah Kliff

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