Cash incentives for vaccination have little impact

While politicians at all levels have praised cash incentives, research has shown that this strategy has little impact on actually convincing Americans to get vaccinated. A recent investigation I worked on (at the Documenting COVID-19 project and the Missouri Independent) provides new evidence for this trend: the state of Missouri allocated $11 million for gift cards that residents could get upon receiving their first or second vaccine dose, but the vast majority of local health departments opted not to participate in the program—and a very small number of gift cards have been distributed thus far.

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FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for younger children

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, under an Emergency Use Authorization. The agency’s vaccine advisory committee met on Tuesday to discuss Pfizer’s application and voted overwhelmingly in favor; the FDA followed this up with an EUA announcement on Friday.

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The data problem underlying booster shot confusion

Why has the booster shot decision-making process been so confusing? Why don’t the experts agree on whether booster shots are necessary, or on who should get these extra shots? From my (data journalist’s) perspective, the booster shot confusion largely stems from a lack of data on breakthrough cases.

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