REGINA -- Nearly 3,000 vaccination appointments were scheduled in the first two hours Saskatchewan's new booking system was available.

As of 11 a.m., 2,971 people have booked an appointment through the system, which launched on Thursday morning.

The SHA said 2,484 appointments were made online, while 487 appointments were booked over the phone.

The average wait time over the phone was around 72 minutes. The health authority said a total of 2,710 people called the phone line, but some callers were either ineligible, wanting to confirm their existing appointment, or seeking general vaccine information.

The booking system opened at 8 a.m. to residents 85 years and older.

The SHA said some SaskTel customers could be experiencing issues when trying to book over the phone.

"We are aware of some individuals having trouble reaching our booking centre when using their cell phone. Sasktel is working quickly to resolve this issue. Please book online if you are having trouble with your phone line," the health authority said, in a tweet.

The Vaccine Call Centre will operate from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week at 1-833-SASK-VAX (1-833-727-5829).

Speaking Wednesday, Minister of Health Paul Merriman said that when the system launches, there will be around 100 locations available for booking appointments.

Those who want to book an appointment online will need their valid health card and contact information for follow-up information.

“No one should have to travel too far,” Merriman said.

He said it’s possible for locations to temporarily book up, as it’s expected that demand will be greater than the supply at times.

Based on vaccine supply, the SHA will expand the age groups eligible to book vaccinations.

“It is critical that residents that are currently not eligible do not call the phone line or attempt to book through this process at this time. Doing so will unnecessarily stress critical infrastructure needed for these services and could result in delays getting eligible recipients immunized,” the government said in a news release.

With files from CTV News Regina's Michaela Solomon