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1.
Nat Hum Behav ; 6(11): 1515-1524, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2008293

ABSTRACT

Lotteries have been shown to motivate behaviour change in many settings, but their value as a policy tool is relatively untested. We implemented a pre-registered, citywide experiment to test the effects of three high-pay-off, geographically targeted lotteries designed to motivate adult Philadelphians to get their COVID-19 vaccine. In each drawing, the residents of a randomly selected 'treatment' zip code received half the lottery prizes, boosting their chances of winning to 50×-100× those of other Philadelphians. The first treated zip code, which drew considerable media attention, may have experienced a small bump in vaccinations compared with the control zip codes: average weekly vaccinations rose by an estimated 61 per 100,000 people per week (+11%). After pooling the results from all three zip codes treated during our six-week experiment, however, we do not detect evidence of any overall benefits. Furthermore, our 95% confidence interval provides a 9% upper bound on the net benefits of treatment in our study.

3.
Clin Infect Dis ; 75(1): e536-e544, 2022 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1886386

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is dominated by variant viruses; the resulting impact on disease severity remains unclear. Using a retrospective cohort study, we assessed the hospitalization risk following infection with 7 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants. METHODS: Our study includes individuals with positive SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in the Washington Disease Reporting System with available viral genome data, from 1 December 2020 to 14 January 2022. The analysis was restricted to cases with specimens collected through sentinel surveillance. Using a Cox proportional hazards model with mixed effects, we estimated hazard ratios (HR) for hospitalization risk following infection with a variant, adjusting for age, sex, calendar week, and vaccination. RESULTS: In total, 58 848 cases were sequenced through sentinel surveillance, of which 1705 (2.9%) were hospitalized due to COVID-19. Higher hospitalization risk was found for infections with Gamma (HR 3.20, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.40-4.26), Beta (HR 2.85, 95% CI 1.56-5.23), Delta (HR 2.28 95% CI 1.56-3.34), or Alpha (HR 1.64, 95% CI 1.29-2.07) compared to infections with ancestral lineages; Omicron (HR 0.92, 95% CI .56-1.52) showed no significant difference in risk. Following Alpha, Gamma, or Delta infection, unvaccinated patients show higher hospitalization risk, while vaccinated patients show no significant difference in risk, both compared to unvaccinated, ancestral lineage cases. Hospitalization risk following Omicron infection is lower with vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: Infection with Alpha, Gamma, or Delta results in a higher hospitalization risk, with vaccination attenuating that risk. Our findings support hospital preparedness, vaccination, and genomic surveillance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Washington/epidemiology
4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292641

ABSTRACT

Lotteries have been shown to motivate behavior change in many settings. However, the value of large-scale, geographically-targeted lotteries as a policy tool for changing the behaviors of entire populations is a matter of heated debate. In mid-2021, we implemented a pre-registered, city-wide experiment in Philadelphia to test the effects of three, high-payoff (up to $50,000) geographically-targeted lotteries designed to motivate adult residents of Philadelphia to get vaccinated against COVID-19. All Philadelphia residents ages 18 and older were eligible for inclusion in each drawing but, if selected, could not accept a prize unless they had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. In each drawing, residents of a randomly selected “treatment” zip code received half of the 12 lottery prizes (boosting their chances of a win to 50-100x those of other Philadelphians). This experimental design makes possible a causal estimate of the impact of vastly increasing people’s odds of winning a vaccine lottery. We estimate that the first treated zip code, which drew considerable media attention, may have experienced a small bump in vaccinations compared to control zip codes: vaccinations rose by an estimated 61 per 100,000 people (an 11% increase). Pooling results from all three zip codes treated over the course of our six-week experiment, however, we do not detect any overall benefits. This unsustained effect may be because media attention waned, salience of the lottery declined, or attitudes about vaccination became increasingly entrenched over time. Further, our 95% confidence interval provides an upper bound on the overall benefits of treatment in our study of 9%. Given that lotteries of this scale cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to implement, the lack of a substantial benefit from this experiment strengthens the policy case for other, more impactful ways to encourage health behavior change.

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