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Direct Incentives For Vaccination Would Increase Rates

In its first decade, the GAVI Alliance has helped prevent the deaths of more than five million children by introducing more widespread vaccination in low-income countries, “[b]ut, going forward, the alliance is going to have to think more about getting parents to vaccinate their kids – the demand side of health – especially if it wants to repeat the huge victory of wiping out a disease” such as smallpox, Charles Kenny writes in his weekly column for Foreign Policy.

“The long-term answer to raising vaccination levels worldwide is to spread knowledge of their safety and efficacy. … In the meantime, providing direct incentives to people to get their kids vaccinated are likely to have a more immediate impact on changing behavior – and that will reduce both the immense human costs of infectious disease and the considerable financial costs of preventing them,” he concludes (6/27).