Mar 16, 2022 - COVID

Where Minnesota's $200 vaccine incentive for kids was most popular

Data: Minnesota Department of Health; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

Minnesota's recent $200 COVID-19 vaccine incentive program for families of kids ages 5-11 was most popular in counties with comparatively high rates for the cohort.

Why it matters: Just 36% of Minnesota kids 5-11 are fully vaccinated, per MDH data, a rate much lower than other age groups. The incentives aim to boost those numbers.

What happened: The state received about 22,000 requests for the "Kids Deserve a Shot" cash cards between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28.

Zoom in: Ramsey County led the state in gift card requests per capita, with 63 for every 10,000 residents, MDH data obtained by Axios via a records request shows. About 3,500 requests were filed in all.

Lincoln County, meanwhile, saw the lowest participation, with just 3 kids (a per capita rate of 5 per 10,000) requesting the incentive.

  • Just 13% of youngsters in the South Dakota border county were fully vaccinated in January.

Of note: An MDH spokesperson said about 35% of requests came from areas of Minnesota "most vulnerable to adverse health outcomes" under the CDC's Social Vulnerability Index.

What's next: A $100,000 college scholarship lottery is open to kids who get both shots by April 11.

  • Processing of the previously requested Visa cards, meanwhile, may be delayed due to supply chain issues, per a state website.

The bottom line: The numbers suggest that while the program might have encouraged some families to vaccinate their kids, it didn't move the needle as much in geographic areas where low rates might create more risk in future waves.

Go Deeper: See the county-by-county breakdown.

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