Researchers at Penn’s Annenberg Public Policy Center found that vaccine mandates likely promote higher vaccination rates.
The study — published in Scientific Reports — found that even in vaccine-resistant groups, people are more willing to get vaccinated when they are required to be vaccinated in order to work, study, or travel.
On Sept. 9, the federal government enacted regulations that require businesses with more than 100 employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing for their workers. While these mandates received backlash from news outlets and GOP lawmakers, the Penn researchers' findings indicate that they work to improve vaccination rates among Americans.
Penn researchers Dolores Albarracín, Jessica Fishman, Andy Tan, Haesung Jung, and Wen Song first surveyed 300 people, then conducted three experiments on about 1,300 people to see whether a vaccine mandate could incentivize people to get vaccinated, Penn Today reported.
The initial survey asked participants if they were likely to get the vaccine if it was mandated, and also if they were inclined to get the vaccine if it was given for free. More people responded that they were likely to get the vaccine if required than if it was free.
One experiment asked participants if they would consider vaccine requirements for work, travel, or school, while another experiment focused on how participants would respond if the decision to get vaccinated was up to them.
The results of the study ultimately showed that people are more likely to receive the vaccine, and that the results are similar for members of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, according to Penn Today.
“For people with lower tendency to react against being controlled, the mandate makes them feel that the vaccine will have positive benefits, that they will be better received by others, and even that the vaccine is less risky,” Albarracín told the Philadelphia Inquirer.