MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The number of Minnesotans who have received at least the first dose of the two-shot COVID-19 vaccine is nearing a quarter-million, or less than 5% of the population.

The Minnesota Department of Health reported Sunday that a total of 247,415 Minnesotans have received at least one dose. More than 63,000 people have received both shots to complete their vaccinations.

Reports say evidence of a vaccination backlog became clear last week after the state launched a pilot program intended to speed vaccinations to people 65 and older as well as to educators and child care workers.

But the online booking process that launched at noon Tuesday quickly became overwhelmed, getting more than 1 million hits by early afternoon.

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