Albrecht Broemme had to figure out the design of Germany’s Covid-19 vaccination centers at two airport terminals, a concert venue, a velodrome, an ice rink, and a convention hall.
So, he used Legos.
Below, Mr. Broemme is holding a picture of his Arena Berlin Lego architecture:
Sort of like they were at IKEA, everyday, he had to move 3,000 to 4,000 socially distanced people in one direction.
But they still needed more of a nudge.
Covid-19 Vaccination Nudges
Although our yearly flu vaccines are available at most neighborhoods pharmacies and from our physicians, no more than 45.3% of us take them. With Covid-19 more deadly, more contagious, the vaccination rate needs to be much higher.
Behavioral economists would say that architecture matters.
Planners’ choice architecture should include defaults that automatically schedule appointments. Reminders and cash rewards also make it more likely that you go. And at vaccine centers, never run short because people might not return.
Finally, how about some results when we refresh?
At the same time, design architecture makes a difference. I assume the Berlin event space (that had originally been a bus depot) includes 80 numbered booths for the “jab,” for signing documents beforehand, and for recovery time afterwards. In Italy, a town squares being used for vaccinations will have images that convey serenity. Another possibility is giving the shots in people’s cars, an approach that will need its own unique logistics. And elsewhere, art museums and science centers could divert a new kind of attendee.
The booths in the Berlin vaccine center were cleanly and clearly numbered:
Whatever local planners decide, the Covid-19 vaccination experience will become an incentive or disincentive as the word spreads.
Our Bottom Line: Nudges
Nobel Laureate Richard Thaler and his co-author Cass Sunstein tell us that we go through life influenced by nudges that shape our behavior. Indeed, through the signup and implementation, the “choice architecture” of the Covid-19 vaccination program will determine its success.
And, in Germany, it all started with Legos.
My sources and more: My Bloomberg (un-gated) email alerted me to the architecture of vaccine distribution. Next, following their link to The Washington Post, I wound up with better articles from Reuters and USA Today. Then, for even more, you might find it productive to see what Pew said about our attitudes during early December.