May 28, 2021 - News

A guide to Minnesota's new COVID vaccine incentives

Illustration of a syringe tied to a string on a stick

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With vaccinations declining in Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz is dangling fishing licenses, amusement park passes and gift cards to sweeten the pot.

By the numbers: The number of people receiving at least their first vaccine dose declined from a weekly peak of more than 280,000 in mid-April to fewer than 67,000 in mid-May, according to the Star Tribune.

  • Walz is trying to increase our 61% vaccination rate for those 12+ past 70% by July 1.
  • He's taking a different approach than some other governors, who are holding lotteries with prizes of $1 million or more.

How it works: The first 100,000 Minnesotans to receive their first dose between May 27 and June 30 can take their pick of:

  • One entrance pass to the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth.
  • A 30-point ride pass at Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America.
  • A Minnesota resident annual fishing license.
  • One Minnesota State Parks annual pass.
  • One adult admission at the Minnesota Zoo.
  • One reserved ticket to attend a Northwoods League baseball game in Mankato, Duluth, Rochester, St. Cloud or Willmar.
  • Two admission tickets to the State Fair.
  • One Valleyfair admission ticket, plus additional tickets at a discount
  • A $25 Visa Card.

Beginning June 1, Minnesotans can verify their first dose and indicate their preferred vaccine reward at

  • Walz said the prizes will be paid for by federal COVID relief funds. He didn't rule out another round of perks.
  • And you might want to act fast. At our current vaccination rate, all of the prizes will be gone within a week and 40% of them will go to teenagers, according to MPR's David Montgomery.

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