Nearly 80,000 Minnesotans took advantage of $100 vaccine incentive program

Governor Tim Walz announced Monday that nearly 80,000 Minnesotans signed up for the state’s $100 vaccine incentive program since July 30.

Walz said the program has helped drive Minnesota’s vaccination rate over the past month. The seven-day average for the first doses administered was 2,675 one month ago. Now, Minnesota is averaging 4,955 first doses daily.

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 five and 21 percentage points, Walz’s office said.

Nearly 80% 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,” Walz said. “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.”

Walz initially authorized $2.5 million in American Rescue Plan funding to start the rewards program. At Walz’s request, the Legislative COVID-19 Response Commission approved an additional $13.8 million to ensure the program’s funding would meet demand.