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Gov. Walz reveals list of 9 free rewards for those who get vaccinated

Rewards range from State Fair tickets to passes to various attractions.

Minnesotans who get vaccinated against COVID-19 between now and the end of June will get to choose their reward from a list of nine options. 

Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday announced the rewards in hopes of incentivizing more people to get vaccinated to help the state reach its goal of 70% of Minnesotans 16 and older being vaccinated by July 1. 

As of Tuesday, 63.9% of Minnesotans 16 and older have at least one dose of the vaccine.

The first 100,000 people who get their first dose of the COVID vaccine between May 27 and June 30 can choose one of the following rewards:

  • Great Lakes Aquarium pass: Eligible for one entrance to the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth. Valid until July 1, 2023. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will provide recipients’ contact information to the Aquarium, which will mail tickets to Minnesotans who select this option.
  • Mall of America's Nickelodeon Universe pass: Eligible for a 30-point ride pass at Nickelodeon Universe that can be redeemed through Sept. 1. MDH will provide recipients’ contact information to Mall of America who will send information to redeem the pass.
  • Minnesota fishing license: Eligible for one individual Minnesota resident annual fishing license effective through February 2022. Must be redeemed by July 30. The recipient must be eligible to hold a Minnesota fishing license. MDH will provide recipients’ contact information to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) which will reach out to Minnesotans to complete their fishing license application.
  • Minnesota State Parks pass: Eligible for one Minnesota State Parks annual pass. Minnesotans will receive the pass in the mail from the DNR.
  • Minnesota Zoo admission: Eligible for one adult admission at the Minnesota Zoo through Sept. 8. MDH will provide recipients’ contact information to the Minnesota Zoo which will email information in order for Minnesotans to redeem their admission.
  • Northwoods Baseball League tickets: Eligible for one reserved ticket to attend a Northwoods League baseball game during the 2021 season. MDH will provide recipients’ contact information to the Northwoods League and Minnesotans will call the ticket office of the team they select and provide their full name and address for verification to reserve their ticket. Tickets are based on availability at the time of calling. Participating teams include the Rochester Honkers, Willmar Stingers, Mankato MoonDogs, St. Cloud Rox and the Duluth Huskies.
  • State Fair tickets: Eligible for two admission tickets to the 2021 Minnesota State Fair. MDH will provide recipients’ contact information to the State Fair which will email tickets no later than July 16.
  • Valleyfair single-day admission: Valid for one Valleyfair admission ticket and the chance to purchase additional tickets for the same date at a discounted rate during the 2021 season. MDH will provide a unique code via email in order for Minnesotans to redeem this offer.
  • Visa Card for $25: Eligible for a $25 Visa Card to be used anywhere Visa is accepted. Minnesotans will receive the cards by mail or email from the MDH or a State of Minnesota vendor.

Those who get their vaccine in the next month can verify their first dose and indicate their preferred reward here. Minnesotans must request their reward by 11:59 p.m. on June 30 and they'll be fulfilled on a "rolling basis" throughout the month of June and no later than July 16. 

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“Summer is here, vaccines are working, and we are still going full steam ahead finding ways to keep our communities safe,” Gov. Walz said in a statement. “We’ve had great success in our state so far with more than 2.5 million Minnesotans fully vaccinated, and we want to build on that success and get the broad community protection needed for everyone to have the fun, safe summer they want. 

"Whether it’s fishing, exploring our state parks, taking the family to a ball game or the Minnesota State Fair, we want to help get you there safely. So roll up your sleeves, make that vaccine appointment, and pick your reward, Minnesota — this is your shot to summer," he said.

At a news conference Thursday, Walz said the state landed on these incentives, while other states are holding lotteries and offering bigger rewards, because being outside "is very Minnesotan" and these smaller rewards ensure more people get a reward, rather than just a few people in a lottery-type situation. 

Some of the incentives reflect trends the state has seen during the pandemic — people wanting to do things outside. Walz noted they've seen "unprecedented demand" for fishing and hunting licenses during the pandemic, while State Parks have also been extremely popular over the past year. 

The money to pay for these incentives is coming from the federal COVID-19 relief funding, Walz said.

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