OTTAWA -- Kingston-area residents between the ages of 60 and 64 will be able to book COVID-19 appointments at local pharmacies starting this Friday.

The Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington health unit is one of three areas in Ontario set to launch bookings through pharmacies. Toronto and Windsor-Essex are the others. More than 330 pharmacies are set to participate.

Kingston anticipates receiving more than 20,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, to be given out to 40 pharmacies in the region. Each would receive about 500 doses.

The doses are set to expire early next month. Health Canada has recommended against using the vaccine on people 65 and older, hence the 60 to 64 age group receiving them.

“We understand that residents of KFL&A are ready and eager to receive their COVID-19 vaccine,” the health unit said in a news release Tuesday. “It is expected that the eligibility requirements will change as the initiative is rolled out across Ontario.”

Health minister Christine Elliott says a list of pharmacies that will be administering the vaccine will be released on Wednesday. Once that list is released, it will be available on the KFL&A health unit’s website.

Officials said pharmacies are receiving many phone calls, and are urging people to be patient as they work to get online booking systems set up.