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Hennepin County approves another $250K for COVID-19 vaccine incentives

Previously, the county approved $100K.

Hennepin County has approved an additional $250,000 for vaccine incentive programs 

County commissioners on Tuesday approved the additional funding, after authorizing an initial $100,000 for vaccine incentives earlier this summer. 

“Hennepin’s vaccine incentive program has succeeded in putting more shots in arms and rewards in residents’ pockets," Commissioner Chris LaTondresse said in a statement. "Today’s board action doubles down on this promising strategy, allocating $250,000 in new funds for this effort. 

"This incentive program has always been about taking vaccine disparities head on by increasing public trust and decreasing vaccine hesitancy. We still have a long way to go in eliminating these disparities, but the overwhelming public demand for these incentives shows that our efforts are paying off," he added. 

The incentive program includes partnering with community groups to host vaccine events and distributing "thank you" packs to residents who got the vaccine. 

Using the first $100,000, the county bought 2,235 $50 Visa gift cards and as of Monday, July 19, the county has given away 775 of them, mainly at county events. Meanwhile, nearly 50 community organizations have applied to receive incentive grants. 

Without the additional funding, the county says the initial inventory would have only lasted another week. 

The vaccine incentive program is focused on "rebuilding trust in communities by partnering with communities that have historically experienced medical exploitation, unconsented experimentation and marginalization to decrease vaccine hesitancy and disparities," the release says. 

For more on the county's vaccine incentives, click here.

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