Minnesota: Gift Cards and College Scholarships for Child Vaccination


The Kids Deserve a Shot program was expanded to boost COVID-19 vaccination rates in children ages 5 to 11.


A few months after the Center for Disease Control (CDC) updated their guidelines to recommend children ages 5 to 11 receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Minnesota had one of the highest vaccination rates in the country for this age group. But compared to other age groups, the 5 to 11 vaccination rate was still relatively low. The Omicron variant posed an additional threat to the health and education of this young age group.


In January 2022, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz expanded the Kids Deserve a Shot program to children ages 5 to 11 to boost immunization rates. This program sought to boost vaccination rates in the newly eligible age group by offering gift cards to families whose children receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If their 5-to-11-year-old children received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine between January 1 and February 28, 2022, families were eligible for a $200 gift card. Once both doses had been administered, parents or caregivers could register for the Visa gift card. Additionally, a college scholarship raffle was held for all 5-to-11-year-old Minnesotans who had both vaccine doses by April 11, 2022, including those who were vaccinated in 2021. The raffle prizes were five $100,000 college scholarship awards. This program mirrored previous Kids Deserve a Shot offerings for children ages 12 to 17 who received their COVID-19 vaccinations in 2021, which also provided gift cards and raffle entries for college scholarships (and other activities). Two hundred dollars can bolster a family’s financial stability, and a $100,000 scholarship can remove some of the financial barriers to sending a child to college.


Kids Deserve a Shot targeted both children who had not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as all children ages 5 to 11 regardless of vaccination time for each respective prize. This allowed the program to encourage the vaccine for all Minnesota children in this age group, promoting visibility and participation. The high dollar value of the gift cards and scholarships was notable, also lending to visibility of the program.

Supplemental Resources


Years: 2022

Locations: Minnesota

Programmatic Areas: Adolescent Immunization, COVID-19, Public Health Functions

Key Words: Adolescents, COVID-19, Health Promotion

Evidence Based: No

Evaluations: No

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