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Moral hazard: Does vaccination increase risk-taking behaviour?

 New research finds evidence of increased risk-taking behaviour after flu vaccination, which can counter the vaccine’s effectiveness.

The study by Manuel Hoffmann and colleagues reported to the 2021 RES Annual Conference concludes that at minimum, policy-makers may want to communicate to individuals that they should not forgo additional protective measures after they get vaccinated, particularly in the current pandemic.

The researchers also find that making it easier for people to get vaccinated – for example, by offering vaccines in the workplace during the working week – improves take-up, as does making use of ‘peer effects’.

By lowering opportunity costs of getting vaccinated, it is possible to increase substantially participation in a health campaign; and policies that provide incentives for group behaviour and peer comparisons may be leveraged to improve further people’s willingness to join such campaigns.