Walz announces $200 gift cards and $100,000 scholarships as teen COVID-19 vaccine incentives

Covid-19 vaccine.
Governor Walz announces big new incentives to get young people vaccinated. Photo credit (Audacy / Susie Jones)

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has announced a new incentive program for 12-17-year-olds who get vaccinated over the next six weeks. The incentives include gift cards and scholarships for Minnesota colleges.

Those who get vaccinated will receive a $200 Visa gift card and will be able to win one of five $100,000 Minnesota college scholarships.

Those in the age range must start their vaccine series between Oct. 18 and Nov. 30 to qualify for the “Kids Deserve a Shot” incentive program.

“Our administration is dedicated to doing everything we can to keep our kids safe during this pandemic — and that includes working to get as many Minnesotans vaccinated as possible,” Governor Walz said in a press release.

Walz said the program is being launched to “ help reward teens for doing their part by getting fully vaccinated.” He went on to say that their efforts will help keep their schools and communities safe.

“If you haven’t started your vaccine series yet, do it now and get $200 in your pocket,” Walz said. “And to every Minnesota teen across the state: Get fully vaccinated and get your shot at a $100,000 college scholarship.”

Walz authorized $12.2 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds for the “Kids Deserve a Shot” incentive program. In total, the American Rescue Plan provides $8.5 billion to Minnesota to support COVID-19 recovery efforts.

“To keep our schools safe for kids of all ages, we need our teens who are eligible now to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan said in the press release. “Our children deserve a shot of protection from these safe, effective vaccines, and kids deserve a shot at these amazing rewards.”

The press release shared that 50% of Minnesotans 12-15 and less than 60% of Minnesotans 16-17 are fully vaccinated, the lowest vaccination rates among all eligible age groups.

To read the details of the program or to register, click here.

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