State Representative Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal) responded to Minnesota’s new COVID vaccine incentives for kids, calling it bribery and coercion. The state of Minnesota and Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced that they will be giving every family of 5 to 11-year-old children $200 for getting fully vaccinated in the months of January and February.

Minnesota will also be hosting drawings later on in the spring for fully vaccinated 5 to 11-year-olds to win a $100,000 college scholarship. The state already hosted a similar giveaway for 12 to 18-year-olds.

According to the state of Minnesota’s website, “Minnesota families are able to receive one $200 Visa gift card per each eligible 5 to 11 year old fully vaccinated between January 1 — February 28.” The children must obtain both their first and second dose of the vaccine within the timeframe.

Walz tweeted out, “That’s cash in your pocket for starting the year off right by protecting your child from COVID.”

Munson condemned the move, saying “it is wrong to target low-income families for experimental drugs. The government does have a role to educate and inform, but not bribe and coerce.”

Munson continued, “I will be introducing a bill to ban the government from emailing, messaging, and contacting minors without parental consent. We need to restore [the] government to its proper role.”

According to Minnesota’s COVID dashboard, 134,848 or 26% of 5 to 11-year-olds in Minnesota have been fully vaccinated against COVID. Thirty-four percent of the 5 to 11-year-old population has obtained a single or partial vaccination. Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) data shows that a single child between the ages of 5 and 14 has died from COVID since 2020, while over 100,000 children have tested positive for COVID.

Five to 11-year-olds are currently the lowest vaccinated age group, followed by 12 to 15-year-olds.

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Hayley Feland is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Wisconsin Daily Star | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to hayley@volente.biz.
Photo “Rep. Jeremy Munson” by Munson1099 CC BY-SA 4.0.