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Vaccination or NPI? A conjoint analysis of German citizens’ preferences in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic by Jacques Bughin, Michele Cincera, Evelyn Kiepfer, Dorota Reykowska, Florian Philippi, Marcin Żyszkiewicz, Rafal Ohme & Dirk Frank

In a research collaboration of ISM together with our partner NEUROHM and the Université libre de Bruxelles (iCite), potential factors influencing the willingness to vaccinate were tested in different scenarios. Vaccination is one of the crucial pillars in pandemic mitigation. Nevertheless, the vaccination rate in Germany is comparatively rather moderate. With the aim of deciphering the decisive factors of a successful communication strategy for Germany, we used discrete conjoint analysis in our study to determine the preference structure of the German population with regard to vaccination intention. The focus here was on the trade-offs between pharmaceuticals (vaccine) and ‘non-pharmaceutical interventions’ (NPIs), such as lockdown and social distancing, and the value of voluntary versus mandatory compliance for citizens.

Our findings highlight three important insights:

✅ Value of waiting: with 70% effective vaccine, 1/3 of citizens would still prefer to be vaccinated in the next 6 months rather than immediately.

✅ Cost of NPI constraints: an effective vaccine can be a solution to offset the economic costs and consequences that invasive NPI can have over a prolonged or repeated period of time

✅ Freedom of choice: Citizens prefer voluntary compliance to imposed measures, whether it is the choice of vaccination, distancing measures or where to work during the pandemic.

How high the monetary value of vaccination is estimated compared to the costs of imposing protective measures (NPIs) depending on vaccination effectiveness was tested extensively in different scenarios and the most promising communication strategy was derived.

Special thanks to Dynata for their support as part of this pro bono project.


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