Issues surrounding incentives and penalties for COVID-19 vaccination: The Israeli experience

Mor Saban, Vicki Myers, Shani Ben Shetrit, Rachel Wilf-Miron*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to examine patterns of COVID-19 vaccination in Israel and how these relate to different proposals made about benefits for those vaccinated, and to present the legal and ethical dilemmas surrounding these issues. A retrospective study of COVID-19 vaccination rates in Israel was conducted, with data obtained from the Ministry of Health (MOH). Information on benefits proposed or offered for vaccination and restrictions for non-vaccination were obtained from the MOH and presented in a timeline. By March 1st, 51% of the total population, and 91% of those aged 60 and over, had received their first COVID-19 vaccine. Exemption from quarantine was granted to vaccinated or recovered people from 17th January 2021. The ‘green pass’ incentive scheme, granting access to social, cultural and sporting events for those fully vaccinated or immune, was proposed in December 2020, and came into effect on February 21st 2021. Incentive schemes which impose limitations on those who choose not to vaccinate may motivate some people to take action. Policymakers should use a measured approach to protect public health, with minimum infringement on citizens' rights. Providing transparent and culturally appropriate information on immunization and ensuring maximal and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines may help build trust.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106763
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • COVID-19 vaccine
  • Incentives
  • Penalties


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