Minnesota is offering children ages 12-17 who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 a $ 200 reward and the chance to get a $ 100,000 college scholarship.
Gov. Tim Waltz announced the latest vaccination program on Monday. It is open to all children between the ages of 12 and 17 who received both doses of the vaccine between October 18 and November 30.
“We are launching this program to help reward teens for their contribution by fully vaccinating and keeping our schools, community and state safe,” Waltz said in a statement announcing the program.
“Our administration is committed to doing everything it can to keep our children safe during this pandemic, and that includes working to vaccinate as many Minnesotans as possible,” Waltz said in a statement.
The Honorable Mention also includes five raffles between November 19 and December 17 for Minnesota College scholarships and other prizes totaling $ 100,000. These contests are open to all children between the ages of 12 and 17 who were fully vaccinated in 2021 and only one entry is required for all five draws.
More information on vaccines, incentives and coronavirus testing is available at www.mn.gov/covid19.
Waltz says $ 12.2 million in federal coronavirus aid will go towards funding the Kids Deserve Shot incentive program. Minnesota received approximately $ 8.5 billion in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan for COVID-19 response and recovery.
Young people have one of the highest rates of new cases and the lowest vaccination rates in the state. Fewer than 50 percent of children aged 12 to 15 are fully vaccinated, and 56 percent of adolescents aged 16 and 17 received both vaccinations.
Residents under the age of 18 are only eligible for Pfizer 2-dose vaccine. Health officials hope the vaccine will soon become available to young children as well.
Schoolchildren between the ages of 10 and 14 are the age group with the highest number of new infections since resuming classes in September. Last week, this age group had a test positive rate of over 11 percent, the highest rate in the state.
Minnesota has been offering various vaccination incentives since late May. These include fishing licenses, passes to state parks, and gift cards.
Government officials have already spent at least $ 8 million on pandemic relief on baits to encourage vaccinations. During the first week of October, 106,000 doses of vaccine were administered, compared with about 50,000 doses in the first week of September.
About 73 percent of eligible residents aged 12 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine. More than 6.6 million doses of the vaccine have been administered across the state, and 3.4 million people have received at least one vaccine.