By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4)– Gov. Jared Polis had a stern warning Wednesday for those who are choosing not to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

(credit: CBS)

“From January to the end of June, 95.7% of hospitalizations were people who were not vaccinated,” he said at a media briefing in the Governor’s Mansion on Logan Street in Denver. “About 95% of deaths were also people who weren’t vaccinated.”

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That’s why he is urging unvaccinated Coloradans to step up and do their part. He says people don’t have to end up in hospitals or dead, “(It is) entirely preventable.”

Polis is sweetening the deal with some giveaways. Across the state, he will host vaccine clinics where those who take the plunge will get a $100 Walmart gift card.

(credit: CBS)

The Chancellor of Colorado Community Colleges Joe Garcia also announced a partnership with Amazon to offer 67 scholarships to vaccinated community college students ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

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“It’s going to allow them to get the education they so desperately want,” Garcia said.

Polis said some will still not get the vaccine, and he doesn’t anticipate he will change their mind. Rather, his goal is to persuade those who were on the fence to get vaccinated. He says lots of Coloradans had concerns about vaccine safety, but to those who were unsure before, he says the data shows there is nothing to fear.

(credit: CBS)

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe effective and millions of Americans have made the choice to get protected. Over three million Coloradans… and those folks are able to live their lives again,” he says, “We know how to end the pandemic. It’s in our power to do so.”

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If you want to get a gift card for getting vaccinated, you can find a list of locations here: https://covid19.colorado.gov/coloradocomebackcash

Michael Abeyta