By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday announced the next phase of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine incentive program – this time for those 5 to 11 years old.

The “Kids Deserve A Shot” campaign will include vaccine incentives of $200 Visa gift cards and a shot at a $100,000 scholarship.

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The announcement comes as Minnesota’s latest average positivity rate increased to an alarming 19.1%, shattering records as the state grapples with the spreading Omicron variant.

“As Omicron surges across our nation, we’re continuing to use every resource we have to keep our families safe and healthy,” Walz said. “There’s a lot of highly transmissible virus circulating in our communities, but getting our children 5-11 years old vaccinated gives them critical protection against severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19 and helps keep them in school. You’ll get $200 cash in your pocket for getting this easy vaccination done at the start of the year.”

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To be eligible for the gift card, 5- to 11-year-olds will need to get their first and second dose between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28. Registration for the gift cards open at 10 a.m. on Jan. 24 and close at 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 28. Parents or guardians can register after the child is fully vaccinated.

In the spring, there will be drawings for five $100,000 Minnesota college scholarships.

“All Minnesotans 5-11 years old who completed their first and second doses at any point up to the registration deadline will be eligible to be entered for a chance to win a $100,000 college scholarship,” the governor’s office said.

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More information on the vaccine incentive program can be found here.