Jumping the Queue: Willingness to pay for faster access to COVID-19 vaccines in seven European countries

Sebastian Neumann-Böhme, Iryna Sabat, Carolin Brinkmann, Arthur E. Attema, Tom Stargardt, Jonas Schreyögg, Werner Brouwer

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Abstract

Introduction: Given the initial shortage of vaccines to protect against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many countries set up priority lists, implying that large parts of the population had to wait. We therefore elicited the willingness to pay (WTP) for access to two hypothetical COVID-19 vaccines. Methods: Respondents were asked how much they would be willing to pay to get an immediate COVID-19 vaccination rather than waiting for one through the public system. We report data collected in January/February 2021 from the European COVID Survey (ECOS) comprising representative samples of the population in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, and the UK (N = 7068). Results: In total, 73% (68.5%) of respondents were willing to pay for immediate access to a 100% (60%) effective vaccine, ranging from 66.4% (59.4%) in the Netherlands to 83.3% (81.1%) in Portugal. We found a mean WTP of 54.36 euros (median 37 euros) for immediate access to the 100% effective COVID-19 vaccine and 43.83 euros (median 31 euros) for the 60% effective vaccine. The vaccines’ effectiveness, respondents’ age, country of residence, income, health state and well-being were significant determinants of WTP. Willingness to be vaccinated (WTV) was also strongly associated with WTP, with lower WTV being associated with lower WTP. A higher perceived risk of infection, higher health risk, more trust in the safety of vaccines, and higher expected waiting time for the free vaccination were all associated with a higher WTP. Conclusion: We find that most respondents would have been willing to pay for faster access to COVID vaccines (jumping the queue), suggesting welfare gains from quicker access to these vaccines. This is an important result in light of potential future outbreaks and vaccines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1389-1402
JournalPharmacoEconomics
Volume41
Early online date21 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

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