May 27, 2021 - Health

Minnesotans can get a free state parks pass if they get vaccinated

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz speaking in a press conference in April 2021.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz speaking at a press conference in April. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The first 100,000 Minnesotans who get vaccinated against the coronavirus between Memorial Day weekend and the end of June will be eligible for free state parks passes, free fishing licenses or other rewards, Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced Thursday.

Why it matters: The incentives are part of the state's effort to increase vaccinations. 61% of Minnesotans 12 years and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but the pace of doses administered daily has slowed since its peak in April, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune.

Details: Along with the parks pass and fishing license, the state is also offering a ticket to the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth, ride vouchers at Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America, free admission to the Minnesota Zoo and several other statewide attractions, and a $25 Visa Card.

What they're saying: "We do want to encourage people to get out there," Walz said at a press conference Thursday.

  • "We wanted to tailor this to Minnesota attractions, staying and doing things in Minnesota," the governor added.

The big picture: The state has used similar incentive programs for other health initiatives, such as lead screening in children and the completion of tuberculosis therapy in adults, according to the Star Tribune.

  • The state is aiming to have 70% of its population ages 16 and up vaccinated by the Fourth of July, which is similar to a national goal set by President Biden.
  • Walz said the incentives will be financed through federal coronavirus relief funding.
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