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Minnesota to offer $200 to get kids 5-11 vaccinated against COVID-19

Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday announced the new incentive program and said vaccinated children would be eligible to receive a $100,000 college scholarship.

Late vaccines
Brian Hoskins / Special to The Forum
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ST. PAUL — Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday, Jan. 11, announced that the state would offer $200 to Minnesota families that vaccinate their children ages 5 through 11 against COVID-19.

The incentive programs follow several other rounds of giveaways for other age groups aimed at enticing people to get immunized against the illness. It also came as the omicron variant spurred record-level case counts in the state.

Families that get their child or children a first and second dose of the vaccine between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28 will be eligible for the money, Walz said. The governor said he hoped the program would encourage more families to vaccinate their kids and help prevent children from developing serious symptoms from COVID-19.

“As Omicron surges across our nation, we’re continuing to use every resource we have to keep our families safe and healthy,” Walz said in a news release. “There’s a lot of highly transmissible virus circulating in our communities, but getting our children 5-11 years old vaccinated gives them critical protection against severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19 and helps keep them in school."

A state portal to register vaccinations and claim the $200 Visa gift cards is set to open on Jan. 24 and remain open until Feb. 28. Children whose vaccines are registered will also be eligible to win one of five $100,000 Minnesota college scholarships.

Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
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