A Mega-Study of Text-Message Nudges Encouraging Patients to Get Vaccinated at their Pharmacy

30 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2021 Last revised: 24 May 2021

See all articles by Katherine L. Milkman

Katherine L. Milkman

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Mitesh S. Patel

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine, Department of Medicine

Linnea Gandhi

University of Pennsylvania

Heather Graci

University of Pennsylvania

Dena Gromet

University of Pennsylvania

Hung Ho

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department

Joseph Kay

University of Pennsylvania

Timothy Lee

University of Pennsylvania

Jon Bogard

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Anderson School of Management, Students

Ilana Brody

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Christopher Chabris

Geisinger Health System

Edward Chang

University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School, Operations & Information Management Department, Students

Gretchen B. Chapman

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Jennifer Dannals

Stanford University

Noah J. Goldstein

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management

Amir Goren

Geisinger Health System

Hal Hershfield

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Marketing Area

Alex Hirsch

University of Pennsylvania

Jillian Hmurovic

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Samantha Horn

Carnegie Mellon University

Dean Karlan

Northwestern University

Ariella Kristal

Harvard University

Cait Lamberton

The Wharton School

Michelle N. Meyer

Geisinger Health System, Center for Translational Bioethics and Health Care Policy

Allison Oakes

University of Pennsylvania

Maurice E. Schweitzer

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department

Maheen Shermohammed

Geisinger Health System

Joachim H. Talloen

Carnegie Mellon University

Caleb Warren

University of Arizona

Ashley Whillans

Harvard University

Kuldeep Yadav

University of Pennsylvania

Julian Zlatev

Harvard Business School

Ron Berman

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Chalanda Evans

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine

Christopher Snider

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine

Eli Tsukayama

University of Hawaii at West O'ahu

Christophe Van den Bulte

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department

Kevin Volpp

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine, Department of Medicine

Angela Duckworth

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Psychology

Date Written: February 5, 2021

Abstract

We partnered with Walmart to test 22 nudges designed to boost vaccination rates in their pharmacies. Nudges were delivered via text message to over 650,000 Walmart pharmacy patients in the fall of 2020 and encouraged patients to visit Walmart for a flu vaccine. We demonstrate that behaviorally informed messages increase pharmacy vaccination rates by an average of 6.7% over a roughly three-month follow-up period. The most effective messages in our field experiment matched the tone of typical pharmacy communications and reminded patients that a flu shot was waiting for them. These insights suggest that carefully crafted messages informed by the results of this study could nudge the adoption of other vaccines for other infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

Keywords: vaccination, COVID-19, nudge, influenza, field experiment

JEL Classification: I12

Suggested Citation

Milkman, Katherine L. and Patel, Mitesh S. and Gandhi, Linnea and Graci, Heather and Gromet, Dena and Ho, Quoc Dang Hung and Kay, Joseph and Lee, Timothy and Bogard, Jonathan and Brody, Ilana and Chabris, Christopher and Chang, Edward and Chapman, Gretchen B. and Dannals, Jennifer and Goldstein, Noah J. and Goren, Amir and Hershfield, Hal and Hirsch, Alex and Hmurovic, Jillian and Horn, Samantha and Karlan, Dean and Kristal, Ariella and Lamberton, Cait and Meyer, Michelle N. and Oakes, Allison and Schweitzer, Maurice E. and Shermohammed, Maheen and Talloen, Joachim H. and Warren, Caleb and Whillans, Ashley and Yadav, Kuldeep and Zlatev, Julian and Berman, Ron and Evans, Chalanda and Snider, Christopher and Tsukayama, Eli and Van den Bulte, Christophe and Volpp, Kevin and Duckworth, Angela, A Mega-Study of Text-Message Nudges Encouraging Patients to Get Vaccinated at their Pharmacy (February 5, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3780356 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3780356

Katherine L. Milkman (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Mitesh S. Patel

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine, Department of Medicine

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Linnea Gandhi

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Heather Graci

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Dena Gromet

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Quoc Dang Hung Ho

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Joseph Kay

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Timothy Lee

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Jonathan Bogard

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Anderson School of Management, Students ( email )

Los Angeles, CA
United States

Ilana Brody

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Christopher Chabris

Geisinger Health System ( email )

120 Hamm Drive, Suite 2A, MC 60-36
Lewisburg, PA 17837
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.chabris.com

Edward Chang

University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School, Operations & Information Management Department, Students ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Gretchen B. Chapman

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey ( email )

311 North 5th Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08854
United States

Jennifer Dannals

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Noah J. Goldstein

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

Amir Goren

Geisinger Health System ( email )

100 North Academy Ave.
Danville, PA 17822-4910
United States

Hal Hershfield

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Marketing Area ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

Alex Hirsch

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Jillian Hmurovic

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

Samantha Horn

Carnegie Mellon University ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

Dean Karlan

Northwestern University ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Ariella Kristal

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Cait Lamberton

The Wharton School ( email )

700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA
United States
4127797280 (Phone)
19104 (Fax)

Michelle N. Meyer

Geisinger Health System, Center for Translational Bioethics and Health Care Policy ( email )

100 North Academy Ave.
Danville, PA 17822-4910
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.michellenmeyer.com

Allison Oakes

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Maurice E. Schweitzer

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-4776 (Phone)
215-898-3664 (Fax)

Maheen Shermohammed

Geisinger Health System ( email )

100 North Academy Ave.
Danville, PA 17822-4910
United States

Joachim H. Talloen

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

Caleb Warren

University of Arizona ( email )

McClelland Hall
P.O. Box 210108
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108
United States

Ashley Whillans

Harvard University

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Kuldeep Yadav

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Julian Zlatev

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Ron Berman

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

Chalanda Evans

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine ( email )

423 Guardian Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Christopher Snider

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine ( email )

423 Guardian Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Eli Tsukayama

University of Hawaii at West O'ahu ( email )

91-1001 Farrington Highway
Kapolei, HI 96707
United States

Christophe Van den Bulte

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )

700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States

Kevin Volpp

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine, Department of Medicine ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Angela Duckworth

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Psychology ( email )

3815 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6196
United States

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