COVID vaccine lotteries tied to increased uptake in most, not all, states
Programs that reward the newly vaccinated with an entry in a lottery were associated with an increase in COVID-19 vaccinations in most—but not all—US states offering the incentive and may have spurred almost 2 million people to get immunized, according to research published yesterday in JAMA Network Open.
From Mar 17 to Jul 5, 2021, researchers from Drexel University and the University of Georgia polled 403,714 adult participants in the Household Pulse Survey and analyzed daily vaccination rates for the 11 states with a vaccine lottery and 28 states without such a program. Of all survey participants, 71.9% were vaccinated against COVID-19 and 28.1% were not.
A pooled analysis of both a difference-in-difference (DiD) analysis and an augmented synthetic control (ASC) analysis showed that the lottery programs were tied to a 2.1% increase in vaccination rates. In the ASC analysis, the programs were linked with an increase of 0.208 log points, implying an average 23.1% increment in the daily vaccination rate.
State-specific DiD and ASC analyses suggested that vaccine lotteries increased vaccination rates in Ohio (0.09 log points), Maryland (0.26), Oregon (0.15), and Washington (0.37) but not in Arkansas, Kentucky, or West Virginia. The ASC analysis showed that the lotteries were positively associated with vaccinations in New Mexico (0.32 log points) and New York (0.33).
The trend of daily state-specific first COVID-19 vaccination rate per 100,000 people (7-day moving average) over the study period seemed to decline after leveling off in mid-April.
"Given that the adult population in 11 treated states is approximately 85 million, a 2.1% estimate from the DiD result implies that the lottery programs may have expanded the vaccine coverage to approximately 1.78 million additional adults," the researchers wrote. "Similarly, our ASC estimate of 53 doses per day per 100 000 people translates into approximately 1.67 million additional adults getting vaccinated for an average of 37 posttreatment days in 11 treated states."
State-level variation in success of the vaccine lottery "should inform governments when adopting similar policies in the future," the authors concluded. "The findings may also be relevant to the ongoing debate on how to persuade the millions of US residents who are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19."
Dec 9 JAMA Netw Open study
Study suggests heart damage may last up to 1 year in COVID-19 patients
A small study of 66 COVID-19 patients suggests that those who continue to be short of breath during physical activity 1 year after recovery may have suffered heart damage, according to new data presented at EuroEcho 2021, a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology.
The 66 patients were hospitalized for COVID-19 in March and April of 2020 at the University Hospital in Brussels, Belgium. None had previous heart or lung disease. The average patient age was 50 years, and 67% were men.
One year after their discharge date, the patients' lung and heart function was tested via spirometry together with chest computed tomography.
Twenty-three patients (35%) had shortness of breath during the spirometry. Cardiac ultrasound showed those patients were more likely to display abnormal heart function.
"Our study shows that more than a third of COVID-19 patients with no history of heart or lung disease had persistent dyspnoea on effort a year after discharge from hospital. When looking in detail at heart function by cardiac ultrasound, we observed subtle abnormalities that might explain the continued breathlessness," said study author Maria-Luiza Luchian, MD, of University Hospital Brussels, Belgium, in a press release.
Dec 9 European Society of Cardiology press release