Minnesota is offering college scholarships to students between 12 and 17 who get vaccinated, just the latest attempt by a government to coerce people into getting a jab they otherwise don’t want.
As part of Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s “Kids Deserve a Shot” program, students are being offered a $200 Visa gift card if they get fully vaccinated in the next six weeks. In addition, five lucky shot-getters will receive a $100,000 college scholarship if they get both shots anytime within the calendar year.
"Our administration is dedicated to doing everything we can to keep our kids safe during this pandemic - and that includes working to get as many Minnesotans vaccinated as possible," Walz said in a statement.
"We're launching this program to help reward teens for doing their part by getting fully vaccinated and keeping our schools, community, and state safe," he added (without pointing out, of course, that in August, teens ages 16 and 17 made up just 160 weekly COVID cases per 100,000 people, according to CDC data, while those 12 to 15 had a weekly case rate of just under 153 per 100,000.)
If you haven't started your vaccine series yet, do it now and get $200 in your pocket. And to every Minnesota teen across the state: Get fully vaccinated and get your shot at a $100,000 college scholarship."
Given that the shot has been available to those 16 and older since April and was approved for children ages 12 and up in May, it stands to reason that kids who haven’t gotten the jab yet either don’t want to, their parents don’t want them to, or they don’t feel threatened by a virus with a 99 percent survival rate that disproportionately affects the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions not as common among youth. According to the Washington Examiner, only about half of Minnesotan teens between 12 and 15 have gotten at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.
Other states have offered everything from million-dollar lotteries to pickup truck giveaways and gun raffles (we’re looking at you, West Virginia) to entice people to get vaccinated over the past year. In fact, a recent study showed that despite states spending a combined $89 million on vaccine bribes, the programs failed to move the needle on vaccination rates.
Perhaps because supposedly free Americans who don't want to stick out their arm for a shot they aren't comfortable getting aren't any more likely to do so just because their governor dangles a lottery ticket in front of their faces.