This week on the Minnesota Native News Health Report… state leaders announce a COVID-19 vaccine incentive program that aims to get more young Minnesotans vaccinated … also, there are new COVID-19 rapid testing sites popping up across Minnesota. Here’s reporter Cole Premo.
Minnesotans between the ages 12 and 17 years old who start and complete their vaccine series before the end of November will get a $200 Visa gift card — and a shot at a $100,000 college scholarship.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz recently announced the new vaccine incentive program for youth at a press conference outside Gordan Parks High School In St. Paul. The vaccine program is called Kids Deserve A Shot. Here’s Gov. Walz.
“Being in school has a positive impact. So, we’re here today to show that one of the biggest pieces of that is getting 12 to 17 year olds vaccinated. We’re really gonna highlight this group because if these outbreaks happen, we’ll have distance learning happen and spread in communities.”
In order to get the $200 Visa gift card, 12 to 17 year olds will need to start their vaccine series over the coming weeks, and complete it by November 30,” said Walz.
Youth who have already completed the vaccine series before this announcement won’t be eligible for the $200. However, all Mnnesotans ages 12 to 17 years old who have completed their vaccine series at any point will be entered for a chance to win a $100,000 Minnesota College Scholarship.
The state will hold five drawings of $100,000 for five students to attend any public or private non-profit higher educational institution in Minnesota.
The funds for the incentive program come from $12.2 million dollars in federal American Rescue Plan funds.
According to the latest data, only about 50% of Minnesotans ages 12 to 17 years old have been fully vaccinated. Less than 60% of Minnesota 16 to 17 years old are fully vaccinated.
More information on the incentive and how to register, visit the state’s website at mn.gov. From there, you can search for the program by typing in “Kids Deserve A Shot.”
In other news, there are more options for COVID-19 rapid testing across Minnesota.
State leaders recently announced an expansion of rapid testing availability at community sites across Minnesota.
Recently launched sites include the cities of Brooklyn Park, Duluth, Stillwater, Crookston and Hutchinson.
New rapid testing sites will also soon launch in Inver Grove Heights, Wadena, Hibbing, and Albert Lea.
Additionally, the state is offering rapid testing at the existing community saliva testing locations in Moorhead and at St. Paul’s Roy Wilkins Auditorium.
More information on rapid testing can be found on the Minnesota Department of Health’s website.
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