Does perceived scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines increase vaccination willingness? Results of an experimental study with German respondents in times of a national vaccine shortage.
Vaccine shortage is still a major problem in many countries. But how does the vaccine shortage affect people’s willingness to be vaccinated? To test whether perceived scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines has an impact on vaccination willingness, a preregistered online experiment with N = 175 non-vaccinated German participants was conducted during a period of national vaccine shortage. Perceived vaccine scarcity was manipulated by either telling participants that COVID-19 vaccines in their district would be particularly scarce in the upcoming weeks or told that above-average quantities would be available. The results show that individuals in the scarcity-condition were significantly more willing to get vaccinated than those in the surplus-condition were. In addition, individuals in the scarcity-condition were found to express more anger towards the debate on relaxations for vaccinated versus non-vaccinated individuals.