To entice 12- to 17-year-olds to get vaccinated, Minnesota offers $200 Visa gift cards, chance to win $100,000 college scholarship

News & Politics

The state of Minnesota is offering financial incentives for children ages 12 to 17 to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Young people who get both doses of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine between Monday and Nov. 30 will be eligible to snag a $200 Visa gift card. A parent or guardian can register their child after that child has received the two shots. Registration opens the morning of Nov. 9.

Minnesotans ages 12 to 17 who have received two COVID-19 vaccine doses at any point in 2021 are eligible to be entered to win a $100,000 college scholarship to go to any public or private nonprofit educational institution in Minnesota. There will be five $100,000 scholarship drawings, and after a child has been entered by their parent or guardian into a drawing, they will also be included in each subsequent drawing.

“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,” Democratic Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement, according to reports.

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“We’re launching this program to help reward teens for doing their part by getting fully vaccinated and keeping our schools, community, and state safe. If you haven’t started your vaccine series yet, do it now and get $200 in your pocket. And to every Minnesota teen across the state: Get fully vaccinated and get your shot at a $100,000 college scholarship,” he said.

Just 50% of 12- to 15-year-old Minnesotans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while less than 60% of youth ages 16 to 17 have been fully vaccinated in the state, according to a news release, reported.

Walz, a Democrat who entered office in early 2019, authorized utilizing $12.2 million of federal American Rescue Plan money for the vaccine incentive program.

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