$100 incentive is big vaccine draw in Minnesota

Stickers for COVID-19 vaccine recipients were held on the mobile bus clinic in Winthrop, Minn. on July 16.
Hannah Yang | MPR News file

Demand is high in Minnesota for $100 vaccine incentives, prompting the state to set aside even more money for the program. 

As of early Tuesday, more than 30,000 people had already applied for the bonus for getting an initial COVID-19 shot between the end of July and the middle of this month. That exhausted the $2.5 million that Gov. Tim Walz had put toward the incentive.

As a result, the Walz administration moved another $13.8 million into the account. It relies on federal American Rescue Plan money. A legislative panel has signed off on the incentive funding.

President Joe Biden encouraged states to offer the $100 incentive to push up vaccination rates amid the spread of the delta variant. Walz immediately did so even though it has a better vaccination rate than the country as a whole.

The Minnesota Department of Health said requests have come in from every county, but several rural counties are leading the way in per-capita applications for the incentives.
People have until Aug. 15 to get a vaccine dose to be eligible for the Visa gift card.

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