‘Kids Deserve a Shot’ incentive program offers $200 for kids 12-17 to get vaccinated

person holding injection
Photo by RF._.studio on Pexels.com

Governor Tim Walz announced the launch of “Kids Deserve a Shot,” a vaccine incentive program encouraging Minnesotans 12-17-years-old to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The program consists of two sets of rewards: a $200 Visa gift card for 12-17-year-olds who start and complete their vaccine series over the next six weeks, and five drawings of $100,000 Minnesota college scholarships for any Minnesotan 12-17 years old with a complete vaccine series.

“Our administration is dedicated to doing everything we can to keep our kids safe during this pandemic— and that includes working to get as many Minnesotans vaccinated as possible,” said Governor Walz in a statement released on Monday. “We’re launching this program to help reward teens for doing their part by getting fully vaccinated and keeping our schools, community, and state safe.

If you haven’t started your vaccine series yet, do it now and get $200 in your pocket. And to every Minnesota teen across the state: Get fully vaccinated and get your shot at a $100,000 college scholarship.”

“To keep our schools safe for kids of all ages, we need our teens who are eligible now to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “Our children deserve a shot of protection from these safe, effective vaccines, and kids deserve a shot at these amazing rewards.”

The “Kids Deserve a Shot” program comes as the state continues to drive vaccination efforts and awareness across the state, with a focus on boosting vaccination among this least-vaccinated age group. It is designed to encourage teenagers to get vaccinated and increase vaccination rates among adolescents. Currently, only 50% of Minnesotans 12-15 and less than 60% of Minnesotans 16-17 are fully vaccinated, the lowest vaccination rates of all eligible age groups.

Minnesotans can read full program details and rules and register online here.

Governor Walz authorized $12.2 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds for the “Kids Deserve a Shot” incentive program. In total, President Biden’s American Rescue Plan provides $8.5 billion to Minnesota to support COVID-19 recovery efforts. More information on the state’s federal recovery funds can be found here.

$200 Visa Gift Card

To encourage those who have not yet started their vaccine series, Minnesotans 12-17 years old who start and complete their two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series between October 18 and November 30 will be eligible to receive a $200 Visa gift card. In order to be eligible, Minnesotans 12-17 must receive their first dose between October 18 and November 9 and receive their second dose by November 30.  

Parents/Guardians can register their 12-17-year-old once they have completed their two-dose series. Registration for the $200 Visa gift card will open at 8:00 am on November 9, 2021, and close at 11:59 pm on November 30, 2021.

$100,000 Minnesota College Scholarships and Experience Drawings

All Minnesotans 12-17-years-old who have completed their COVID-19 vaccine series at any point can enter for a chance to win a $100,000 Minnesota College Scholarship. The State of Minnesota will hold five drawings of $100,000 for five students to attend any public or private non-profit higher educational institution in the state of Minnesota.

Kids 12-17 must receive both doses of COVID-19 vaccine before being entered into the drawings. All Minnesotans 12-17 who have completed their two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series at any time in 2021 are eligible for the drawings.

Minnesotans who enter the $100,000 Minnesota College Scholarship Drawings will also be entered to win other fun Minnesota experiences. Minnesota experience drawing details will be announced in the coming weeks.

DrawingDrawing DateEntry Deadline
1November 19November 15
2November 29November 22
3December 3November 29
4December 10December 6
5December 17December 13

Parents or guardians must enter their 12-17-year-old by the entry deadline to be eligible for the following drawing(s). Once a kid is entered, they will be included in all following drawings. The drawings will be conducted by the Minnesota State Lottery.

The “Kids Deserve a Shot” program is one of several incentives programs the Walz-Flanagan Administration has launched to encourage Minnesotans to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier this month, Governor Walz extended the “Safe Travels, Minnesota” vaccine incentive partnership with Sun Country Airlines encouraging Minnesotans to roll up their sleeves and get their COVID-19 vaccine at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Terminal 2.

On September 16, Governor Walz launched a new program offering $100 on-site incentives for COVID-19 vaccines at community vaccination clinics around the state. Nearly 50 COVID-19 Community Coordinators (CCCs), community clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) are participating in the program.

The “Kids Deserve a Shot” incentive program also comes after successful Walz-Flanagan Administration efforts to reward Minnesotans for rolling up their sleeves and getting their shot. Nearly 80,000 Minnesotans who received their first dose between July 30 and August 22 signed up for a $100 Visa gift card as part of a statewide giveaway. At the Minnesota State Fair, more than 3,110 Fairgoers received their vaccine and claimed a $100 Visa gift card on site.

The state also partnered with the Minnesota Vikings for the “Skol Up Your Sleeves” Vaccine Clinics, where Minnesotans 18+ who got a vaccine at U.S. Bank Stadium before the Vikings game were entered for a chance to win seats in the Polaris Club.

How Minnesotans can get a free COVID-19 test:

How Minnesotans can get their free shot:

  • Walk in or make an appointment through the Vaccine Connector.
    • Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Public Hotline
      • 1-833-431-2053
      • Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Use the state’s Vaccine Locator Map to find a vaccine provider near you.
  • Check for vaccine appointments using the Vaccine Finder. You can search for appointments by vaccine type (e.g., Pfizer).
  • Contact your primary health care provider or a local pharmacy.
  • Employers may also reach out with information about vaccination opportunities.

Information provided by the Office of Tim Walz.