Economics of Flu Vaccines

Monday, June 13, 2016: 4:45 PM-6:15 PM
401 (Fisher-Bennett Hall)
Christopher Carpenter

This session will bring together a field experiment and two quasi-experiments to increase our understanding of the causes and effects of flu vaccination. The first paper examines the effects of the flu vaccine on flu-related doctors visits, hospitalizations, and deaths using changing age-based guidelines for influenza vaccination in England. The guidelines generate a large and abrupt increase in vaccination rates when people reach the age threshold (65 or 75). Using regression discontinuity, preliminary results suggest that vaccination reduces the incidence of influenza-like illness among the elderly. The second paper evaluates the impact of state expansions in pharmacist’s authorization on influenza immunization rates. The author finds that giving pharmacists permission to vaccinate had a positive impact on adult influenza immunization rates of approximately 0.5%. This effect was diminished by the presence of laws requiring pharmacists to obtain standing orders, patient-specific prescriptions, or malpractice insurance. The third paper sutdies an incentive scheme aimed at residents in a Midwestern medical school that would pay $100 (as a gift card) to each individual resident if they collectively reached a 95% flu vaccination rate by the end of the early flu season on November 1st. The authors study whether the time to vaccination was shortened from the previous year, if there was a bunching at the deadline, and whether there were any differences compared to nurses, a similar group of workers who was not eligible for the gift card. Discussants (in order) are: Dara Luca; Lisa Schulkind; and Emily Lawler

4:45 PM
The Efficacy of the Flu Vaccine in Preventing Morbidity and Mortality Amongst the Elderly

Author(s): Michael Anderson

Discussant: D. Sebastian Tello-Trillo

5:25 PM
Group Incentives and the Take – Up of the Flu Vaccine

Author(s): Lenisa V. Chang

Discussant: Lisa Schulkind