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Less than 5% of Minnesotans have received 1 vaccine dose

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.

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.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports that 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.

Sunday marked the second consecutive day that health officials reported more than 20,000 vaccine doses administered, which is a first for the state.

Gov. Tim Walz on Friday said if the Biden administration can reach its goal of 100 million vaccinations in 100 days, Minnesota will likely get enough vaccine to come close to reaching herd immunity. That would mean the virus would be less likely to spread from person to person.

Meanwhile, state health officials on Sunday reported 1,196 new COVID-19 cases and 32 new deaths in the last day.