Nearly 80,000 Newly Vaccinated Minnesotans Sign Up for Governor Walz’s $100 Vaccine Incentive Program
ST. PAUL, MN (STL.News) Governor Tim Walz announced the conclusion of Minnesota’s successful $100 COVID-19 vaccine incentive program, with nearly 80,000 Minnesotans who received their first dose of vaccine since July 30 signing up for the reward.
The program has helped drive up Minnesota’s vaccination rate over the past month. The seven-day average for first doses administered was 2,675 one month ago. Today, Minnesota is averaging 4,955 first doses daily.
The program was particularly popular among Minnesotans whose vaccination rates are lower than the statewide average. While every Minnesota county recorded at least 70 gift card requests, the program was most popular per capita in Brown, Carlton, Sherburne, Mille Lacs, and Chisago Counties. With the exception of Carlton County, each of these counties lags behind the statewide 16-and-older vaccination rate by between 5 and 21 percentage points.
Nearly 80 percent of incentive requests came from Minnesotans under the age of 50, whose vaccination rates trail those of older Minnesotans.
In total, the program garnered 79,810 submissions.
“The $100 incentive program was a great success. I am so pleased more Minnesotans have received their vaccine and are on their way to protecting themselves, their families, and their communities from COVID-19,” said Governor Walz. “Everybody in our state benefited from this incentive program, regardless of when they got their shot. The best way to manage COVID-19 is by vaccinating more of our friends and neighbors. This program went a long way toward increasing statewide vaccination rates and building the community program we need against the virus.”
“The best tools we have to fight COVID-19 are the three safe, free, and highly-effective vaccines. Because of this incentive program, more Minnesotans have received the shot they need to keep themselves and others safe,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “To every Minnesotan who has gotten their shot, thank you. By getting your vaccine, you prioritized not only your own health, but also that of your family and community. That has been tremendously helpful in our fight against COVID-19. It has literally saved lives.”
Governor Walz announced on July 29 that Minnesota would join President Biden’s push to provide cash incentives to encourage Americans to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. The incentive program is part of Governor Walz’s drive to encourage more Minnesotans to get their shot and build protection against COVID-19 and its dangerous variants.
Governor Walz initially authorized $2.5 million in American Rescue Plan funding to start the rewards program. At Governor Walz’s request, the Legislative COVID-19 Response Commission approved an additional $13.8 million to ensure the program’s funding would meet demand.
The Walz-Flanagan Administration is working with the state Legislature, foundations, and nonprofits to launch new programs to provide people in Minnesota – especially those in communities that have been inequitably impacted by COVID-19 – real-time incentives to get their shot.