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What Works to Get the Elderly Vaccinated Against COVID-19? Experimental Evidence from India
Last registered on May 04, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
What Works to Get the Elderly Vaccinated Against COVID-19? Experimental Evidence from India
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007470
Initial registration date
April 16, 2021
Last updated
May 04, 2021 2:25 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
MIT
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Government of Tamil Nadu
PI Affiliation
MIT
PI Affiliation
MIT
PI Affiliation
MIT
PI Affiliation
Stanford
PI Affiliation
MIT
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2019-02-04
End date
2021-07-01
Secondary IDs
ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT04870593
Abstract
COVID-19 poses a substantial risk to elderly populations; understanding how to get elders vaccinated against the virus is therefore a policy priority. We will conduct an experiment with elders in Tamil Nadu, India to evaluate interventions policymakers might use to raise vaccination rates amongst the elderly. The particular interventions we will consider are: calling elders to inform them about vaccination; encouragement of a "buddy system," whereby elders are accompanied to the vaccination site by another adult who could also get the vaccine; and seeding vaccination information with "gossips," individuals who elders identify as being good at spreading information in the elders' communities. The interventions will be phone-based, and can be implemented quickly and at low cost. This makes them promising strategies the Tamil Nadu government and other governments could use to vaccinate elderly populations against COVID-19.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Banerjee, Abhijit et al. 2021. "What Works to Get the Elderly Vaccinated Against COVID-19? Experimental Evidence from India." AEA RCT Registry. May 04. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7470-1.1.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2021-04-17
Intervention End Date
2021-05-12
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Vaccination against COVID-19
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The experiment will be conducted in a sample of elders living in Tamil Nadu, India. These elders are a subsample of elders from an ongoing panel study on aging in Tamil Nadu.

We will assign elders' communities to one of four information campaigns. A subsequent household-level randomization will determine whether individual elders are informed directly. The four information campaigns communities may be assigned are:

(1) Control: we will call the elders assigned to be given information directly, inform them that they are eligible for the vaccine, tell them where they could get it, and address common concerns they might have.

(2) Buddies: we will call the elders assigned to be given information directly and deliver all of the information given in condition (1). In addition, we will encourage a "buddy system," whereby elders are accompanied to the vaccination site by another adult who could also get the vaccine. We will suggest to elders that they have another eligible adult accompany them to the vaccination site, ask elders to think of such an adult, and then call those adults to inform them about the vaccine and encourage them to help the elder get to the vaccination site so they could both be vaccinated.

(3) Gossips: we will call the elders assigned to be given information directly and deliver all of the information given in condition (1). We will also ask elders who in their communities is good at spreading information. We will then call these "gossips" and ask them to tell their communities that elders are eligible to be vaccinated, where vaccinations are given, and other details to address common concerns about the vaccine.

(4) Buddies and gossips: we will call the elders assigned to be given information directly and deliver all of the information given in condition (1). We will then do the same encouragement of the buddy system as in condition (2). In addition, we will ask elders who in their communities is good at spreading information. We will then call these "gossips," ask them to spread the information gossips in condition (3) were asked to spread, and also ask them to encourage their communities to use the buddy system to get elders vaccinated.

As mentioned above, elders in randomly selected households will not be given information directly.

We will call all elders, both those given information directly and those not, in the subsequent weeks to ask if they have been vaccinated.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done in Stata.
Randomization Unit
Assignment to one of the four information campaigns will be at the community level. Communities will be villages in rural areas and urban blocks in urban areas. The assignment of elders to receive vaccination information directly or not will be at the household level.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
385 communities and 2,275 households
Sample size: planned number of observations
3,006 elders
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
One-fourth of communities will be assigned to each of the four information campaigns. One-third of households will be assigned to receive no direct information and two-thirds will be assigned to be directly informed.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
MIT COUHES
IRB Approval Date
2021-04-16
IRB Approval Number
1702861995A021