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Minnesota extends $100 vaccine incentives for another week

August 16, 2021 GMT
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz tours Minnesota based Phillips & Temro in Eden Prairie, Minn. Monday, July 26, 2021. Minnesota  became the first Midwestern state to adopt a plan for encouraging the switchover to electric vehicles, as Gov. Walz predicted that someday people will wonder why there was such as fuss. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz tours Minnesota based Phillips & Temro in Eden Prairie, Minn. Monday, July 26, 2021. Minnesota  became the first Midwestern state to adopt a plan for encouraging the switchover to electric vehicles, as Gov. Walz predicted that someday people will wonder why there was such as fuss. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz tours Minnesota based Phillips & Temro in Eden Prairie, Minn. Monday, July 26, 2021. Minnesota  became the first Midwestern state to adopt a plan for encouraging the switchover to electric vehicles, as Gov. Walz predicted that someday people will wonder why there was such as fuss. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz tours Minnesota based Phillips & Temro in Eden Prairie, Minn. Monday, July 26, 2021. Minnesota became the first Midwestern state to adopt a plan for encouraging the switchover to electric vehicles, as Gov. Walz predicted that someday people will wonder why there was such as fuss. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz tours Minnesota based Phillips & Temro in Eden Prairie, Minn. Monday, July 26, 2021. Minnesota became the first Midwestern state to adopt a plan for encouraging the switchover to electric vehicles, as Gov. Walz predicted that someday people will wonder why there was such as fuss. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota has extended its $100 reward program for people who get their COVID-19 vaccinations by another week.

Any Minnesotan age 12 or older who gets their first shot through Sunday, Aug. 22, can claim a $100 Visa gift card at mn.gov/covid19/100. Anyone who has gotten their first shot since July 30 is eligible.

Gov. Tim Walz announced the extension Sunday night, calling the incentive program a success. According to the governor’s office, 55,456 newly-vaccinated Minnesotans have claimed rewards since the program began around two weeks ago.

“With the delta variant pushing cases up across the country, including right here in Minnesota, we’ve entered a new phase in the battle against COVID-19” Walz said in a statement. “The vaccines are the way we fight back against the virus. Get your first dose today and get $100. Simple as that.”

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Walz initially authorized $2.5 million in federal pandemic relief funds to launch the reward program. The Legislative COVID-19 Response Commission approved an additional $13.8 million to ensure enough funding to meet demand.

The reward program and concerns about the highly contagious delta variant are driving the demand for vaccinations, as is the state’s “Vax to School” campaign. Two weeks into that drive, more than 20,000 12- to 17-year-olds have received their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine.