~ from Hennepin County news
On June 15, 2021, the Hennepin County Board authorized the use of $100,000 in federal funding for COVID-19 vaccine incentives.
Currently 65% of Hennepin County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. While this is a good overall rate, there are disparities in COVID-19 vaccination rates by race and zip code. Fewer than 60% of residents in 19 zip codes in Hennepin County have received one dose of COVID vaccine, and fewer than 50% of residents in five zip codes in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center have received one dose.
Hennepin County is offering COVID-19 vaccine incentives to help make it a little easier for people to take the shot. In offering these incentives Hennepin County hopes to raise the overall vaccination rate in our county and the state, while closing the vaccination gap within communities and neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID-19. In doing so, we can limit where the virus – especially the variants of concern – can continue to circulate and make people sick.
"This action is an opportunity to build on Minnesota's statewide vaccine incentive strategy in a way that's specifically tailored to the unique needs and concerns of Hennepin County residents. For us, this means addressing vaccine disparities by race and neighborhood," said District 6 Commissioner Chris LaTondresse.
Hennepin County is offering vaccine incentives to people 12 and older who receive their first or second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as to community organizations who are working to promote COVID-19 vaccination in their communities.
Between July 1 and August 15 (or as long as supplies last), everyone 12 and older is eligible to get a $50 Visa gift card when they receive a first or a second COVID-19 vaccine dose at any Hennepin County vaccine event. (People who receive both doses will get two $50 Visa gift cards.) These are county sponsored vaccine events, so there is no charge for the vaccine and you do not need to be a Hennepin County resident to participate.
For a list of upcoming vaccine events that are open to the public, go to hennepin.us/vaccineregistration.
For questions, call the COVID-19 navigator line at 612-348-8900, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After hours, you can leave a voicemail. Help is available is English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong.
Hennepin County is offering community organizations up to $3,000 in grants to use toward vaccine incentives. Examples of incentives that community organizations may offer include food, entertainment, vaccine education events, gift cards, and thank you packs. Organizations must use their vaccine incentive funds by September 30, 2021.
Community organizations can learn more and apply for a vaccine incentives grant at hennepin.us/community-vaccination.