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Should people be incentivised to get the Covid-19 vaccine?

Governments should consider incentivising people to get a Covid-19 vaccine in order to achieve the required level of herd immunity, an expert has said.

The incentive could be either financial or payment in kind, such as being allowed to not wear a facemask in public, the University of Oxford ethicist suggests.

Given the rising global death toll and the far reaching health and economic consequences of the pandemic, there have been calls to mandate Covid-19 vaccination, if and when a jab is approved, according to Professor Julian Savulescu at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics.

Writing an opinion piece in the Journal of Medical Ethics he argues that though vaccination should be voluntary generally, there is a strong case for making any vaccination mandatory if four conditions are met.

These consist of: when there is a grave threat to public health, the vaccine is safe and effective, the pros outweigh the cons of any suitable alternative and the level of coercion is proportionate.

Prof Savulescu said there are examples of coercion for the public good, including conscription during wartime, taxes and the wearing of seat belts.

He adds that mandatory vaccination policies are already in place in different parts of the world.

But there are ethical issues with a mandatory approach so if voluntary vaccination proves insufficient – incentivisation should be considered, he suggested.

A certain level of uptake will be required to make any vaccination programme really effective and quell the relentless surge of the pandemic.

Prof Savulescu said: “To be maximally effective, particularly in protecting the most vulnerable in the population, vaccination would need to achieve herd immunity.”

The exact percentage of the population that would need to be immune for herd immunity to be reached depends on various factors but current estimates range up to 82%, he added.

He said: “Any mandatory vaccination programme would therefore need to make a value judgement about what level of safety and what level of certainty are safe and certain enough.

“Of course, it would need to be very high, but a 0% risk option is very unlikely.”

Prof Savulescu also argues that until the nature of any Covid-19 vaccine can be assessed, along with the gravity of the problem and the likely costs/benefit of alternatives, it is not possible to say whether a mandatory vaccination policy is ethically justified.

“However, another way of looking at this is that those at low risk are being asked to do a job which entails some risk, albeit a very low one.

“So they should be paid for the risk they are taking for the sake of providing a public good,” Professor Savulescu suggests.

But he points out that payment is not necessarily about coercion, saying: “If a person chooses that option, it is because they believe that, overall, their life will go better with it, in this case, with the vaccination and the payment.

“It is true that the value of the option might exercise force over our rational capacities, but that is no different from offering a lot of money to attract a favoured job applicant.”

However, other experts have disagreed with the view, saying it could be dangerous to incentivise vaccination.

Adam Finn, professor of paediatrics, University of Bristol, said: “The proposal to make immunisation mandatory and the approach preferred by the author to offer financial incentivisation to people to accept the vaccines runs counter to the normal approach taken in the UK which is to offer vaccines free on the NHS and for people to take them voluntarily.”

While Keith Neal, emeritus professor of the epidemiology of infectious diseases, University of Nottingham, said: “Paying people to get vaccinated would set a very dangerous precedent. The main benefit of vaccination is to protect yourself.

“Any herd immunity from vaccines is a bonus for those unable to be vaccinated.”

He added: “The idea to pay people to get a vaccine is ill-thought out and potentially counterproductive.

“The money will be much better spent in other parts of the NHS or providing vaccines to low income countries to prevent possible reintroduction into the UK.”

What are your views? Should we incentivise the UK population to get vaccinated against Covid-19?

Should people be incentivised to get the Covid-19 vaccine?

917 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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swaneldo
24th Nov 2020
0
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The only incentive should be that every single MP in government has the vaccine as a sign of their confidence in its safety ...... then I'll wait a year to see how they are doing.
viking
24th Nov 2020
0
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But what will this country do if their jabs turn nasty with dire results !
This should be an interesting thread Mdm Editor.
Ariadne
23rd Nov 2020
0
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Wouldn't it be a better idea if the cause of " the virus " was found,and destroyed . the vaccine injections is like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted .If the root is not found ,the disease will be here forever. What a future for us all .
viking
1 days ago
0
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No doubt as we read this the scientists at Huawan military laboratory are looking into the Covid to see if a mutation with increased strength could be made so that they are able [ in case of the next germ war ] to bombard an aggressor with a more leathal version of this present one.
viking
21st Nov 2020
0
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Cheapskates ! They should at least offered you a nice cup of Tetleys and a large slice of Stollen, being so near Christmas !!
mmmbbb
21st Nov 2020
0
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We are on a trial, no incentive but we did get a packet of bourbon biscuits and a bottle of water!!!
Surfer Pete
18th Nov 2020
0
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Maybe those that choose not to have the vaccine should be excluded from public events, concerts, football matches, restaurants, clubs and pubs. That should do the trick!
Ariadne
23rd Nov 2020
0
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Grow up .!!!Maybe you might end up as lunch for a shark. That should do the trick ,,
NDW57
12th Nov 2020
0
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No. But those who refuse it should be placed at the back of the queue should they succumb to COVID and require hospital treatment.
Ariadne
23rd Nov 2020
0
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We ,the English living in this country ,have paid for treatment for anything. . and we also have the misfortune to pay for treatment for anyone who enters this country ,and haven't paid one penny for it.
Dani
11th Nov 2020
3
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No, no incentives should be offered. We should be grateful that science and the dedication of researchers has offered us some hope. This catastrophe has cost so much already, in suffering and in money, not to forget the limitations on our freedom.
I wouldn’t be in favour of mandatory vaccination but I certainly don’t think that anyone should be offered a sweetener when they are being given the opportunity to protect themselves and others.
JE
12th Nov 2020
0
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Oops, sorry Dani. I meant to press the thumbs up and touched the wrong option by mistake. I agree with your comment.
viking
11th Nov 2020
2
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The incentive may well be for anyone who has the "jab " to be given a card to confirm that this has happened. This can then be used for the follow up jab which we have been told by "experts " will be necessary.
Airlines might then refuse to accept a passenger without some proof of having the " jab . ". That would really be an incentive.
Bald123
10th Nov 2020
2
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We will have it-why not we want to get back to normal days of living rather than being hermits like we are now.
pambutton
10th Nov 2020
6
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If companies refused holiday insurance or made it much more expensive for people who have not been vaccinated that could prove a fair incentive
Bald123
10th Nov 2020
1
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That is a really good point-it will hurt peoples pockets and then they will have it
Retiredyorkie
10th Nov 2020
10
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Why an earth should people be offered an incentive to have the vaccine - just the thought of getting back to some sort of normality should be enough to encourage people to have the jab.
HappyHippie
10th Nov 2020
3
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why would need an incentive to have a vaccine that could end this nightmare, I can remember back in the 60s when everyone was getting smallpox vaccinations, no one needed to be asked twice, they knew it was necessary... We didn't have the internet back then, people used their brains, they weren't brainwashed by stupid people. Bring on the vaccine and lets all try and get back to normal
ElisabethR
23rd Nov 2020
0
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The same thing with polio.. Think that was a quick vaccine. Seem to remember the adults having the same kind of conversations.......... I overheard enough, though probably didn't understand, and in those days you did as you were told, that I was expecting something awful to happen to me. Months before the expectation faded.
Tr1sh
9th Nov 2020
0
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The Oxford Uehiro Centre exists to encourage debate so the Professor's opinion piece is likely aimed at encouraging discussion rather than calling for anything.

My answer to your question was "No". 🙂
JE
8th Nov 2020
8
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Assuming that the vaccine is safe, then everybody has a moral duty to have it and we should not be offering any incentive. If payment is offered, how many people, who would ordinarily agree to the vaccine, would simply hold back until payment is offered in return. Ludicrous suggestion to my mind.
viking
7th Nov 2020
1
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This is another example of the opinion of another "expert " to incentivise the vaccine.
No wonder that I am on a mission to expose some of the opinions of these so called "experts ", who seem to be only expert at spreading alarm and despondency.
Billythequiche
7th Nov 2020
8
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Incentivise??? You would think that reducing the chance of illness or death would be enough. It probably won't be if it just means protecting others (older). The likes of David Icke, the fraudulent accuser of the MMR vaccine and our own nutty ex nurse, though soppy as a box of frogs, convince the under-intelligent to avoid vaccination/innoculation. Like the yearly flu jab, I will take it as soon as I am invited.
jeanmark
7th Nov 2020
7
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I'm with you there Billythequiche, I have difficulty in understanding those who refuse vaccination for no other reason than their own selfish beliefs or who heard from someone who knew a woman, whose son met a girl, who heard from a friend that someone they knew once had a nasty reaction to a jab!

No one should expect to be 'rewarded' for their own part protecting society as a whole.
Ariadne
7th Nov 2020
1
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I did actually contact the NHS to ask where I could go to have the test done.. She asked questions about the signs of the virus that would be obvious ..I replied NO ,no signs ,and was promptly told that I could not have a test ,and would not be able to have one if I did not have an appointment. .So chaps ,there you have it ,no signs ,,,,no test
ElisabethR
23rd Nov 2020
0
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Why would you want to have a test if you are feeling well and have no symptoms
Ariadne
23rd Nov 2020
0
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For the same reason that I check my blood pressure ,heart rate and oxygen level.
JinxB
6th Nov 2020
4
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we need the vaccination to be effective but paying people via an incentive sets a precedent that could be dangerous in the future, imagine if smallpox had been incentivised & people had held out until the incentive matched their desires, that could mean that smallpox could still be a viable threat, the incentive for for CV 19 & any other sort of pandemic should be the health benefits & protection that vaccination would provide.
CarolC7
6th Nov 2020
3
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I would normally say no, however, knowing that a lot of people do not take other injections to prevent themselves from catching diseases, such as flu etc it might encourage these types to get a jab, to keep us all safe.

The other option is mandatory we’d have all the civil rights brigade up in arms, and how could it be monitored,

On the other hand being harsh they make their bed must be prepared to lay on it, with no assistance from the medical profession ( unfortunately I know that will never happen)
cehodgson
6th Nov 2020
3
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It’s obvious that we need the vaccine to protect ourselves and other people
Sulley28
6th Nov 2020
3
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As an nhs nation we get most things free and should not be incentivised. I also respect those who maynot wish to get a vacine but don't complain if you fall ill
Wilf
6th Nov 2020
7
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Why on earth would we have to incentivise people to get the vaccine. Anyone with half a brain cell can see it's probably the only way to stop this pandemic for once and for all.
MrsPat
6th Nov 2020
3
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People should get vaccinated as their civic duty and to stop this virus
HJR58
6th Nov 2020
6
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Vaccines are the best hope of returning to a near normal life.

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