Only 17K Minnesotans claimed COVID-19 vaccine rewards during June push

Minnesota did not need anywhere close to the 100,000 rewards it offered for getting a COVID-19 vaccine in June. 

Only 17,409 Minnesotans claimed the freebies, according to state health officials. Most people who got a shot during that period never sought a reward. 

The $25 Visa gift card was by far the most popular giveaway, amounting to 57% of the requests. Next were State Fair tickets, Valleyfair tickets and state parks passes.

The state’s vaccine incentives program has ended, but officials say they are looking for other opportunities to encourage people to get a vaccine or reward them for doing so.

A total of 3,072,037 Minnesotans have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 2,912,744 people are fully vaccinated. 

Minnesota fell short of Gov. Tim Walz’s goal of getting 70% of the state’s 16 and older population vaccinated by July 1. So far, 67.2% have gotten at least one dose, which ranks 18th in the country, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.