- University of Verona
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Polo Santa Marta, Via Cantarane 24, Sala Vaona (Room 1.59)
We study how the individual decision to get vaccinated against the seasonal flu changes according to whether the medical treatment is free of costs or not. In a Regression Discontinuity framework we exploit individual-level administrative data on the 2013 vaccination campaign in Italy, and the fact that vaccination is free for individuals aged 65 and more. Based on the exact date of birth, we compare individuals born before January 1st 1949 (eligible) with those born after (not eligible) and we find that eligibility to free vaccination rises the take-up probability by about 3 to 4 percentage points. We complement our analysis assessing the subsequent short-term health consequences of getting the vaccination shot and find that vaccination decreases the use of drugs for respiratory diseases, and the probability of hospitalization, especially during the weeks in which the flu spread reached its peak.