Nudging Immunity: The Case for Vaccinating Children in School and Day Care by Default

12 October 2019

HEC Forum

Alberto Giubilini1, Lucius Caviola, Hannah Maslen, Thomas Douglas, Anne‑Marie Nussberger, Nadira Faber, Samantha Vanderslott, Sarah Loving, Mark Harrison, Julian Savulescu

View Journal Article / Working Paper

Many parents are hesitant about, or face motivational barriers to, vaccinating their children. In this paper, we propose a type of vaccination policy that could be implemented either in addition to coercive vaccination or as an alternative to it in order to increase paediatric vaccination uptake in a non-coercive way. We propose the use of vaccination nudges that exploit the very same decision biases that often undermine vaccination uptake. In particular, we propose a policy under which children would be vaccinated at school or day-care by default, without requiring parental authorization, but with parents retaining the right to opt their children out of vaccination.