GATINEAU, QUE. -- The public health unit for the Outaouais region of Quebec says residents 80 and older can begin booking COVID-19 vaccination appointments starting Tuesday, March 2.

The Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de l'Outaouais said in a news release Monday afternoon that residents can visit the Quebec government's vaccination website or call 1-877-644-4545 for support.

The CISSS de l'Outaouais allowed residents 85 and older to begin booking appointments to receive a vaccine as of last Thursday

In the meantime, the CISSS de l'Outaouais is asking residents not to flood the website or phone line and to only book appointments if you're in one of the eligible age groups.

"Please remember that people who are not part of the priority group being vaccinated should avoid calling, soliciting the website or coming to the vaccination site to be vaccinated. Each group will be informed of the appointment scheduling at the appropriate time," the CISSS de l'Outaouais said.

"In the coming months, Quebec will receive a sufficient number of doses to offer the vaccine free of charge to anyone who wishes to receive it. Although the vaccination is being done in stages, it will still be possible for a person to make an appointment to be vaccinated even if the vaccination sequence in his or her region has been extended to the following age groups."

The City of Ottawa began taking appointments Monday for residents who live in select neighbourhoods who are 80 and older, or adults who are recipients of chronic home care. Vaccinations for anyone outside the first high-priority areas will be administered at a later date.