OTTAWA -- Six Ottawa pharmacies will begin administering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to residents as soon as this weekend.

The Ontario government announced Wednesday the province is expanding use of the Moderna vaccine to pharmacies as part of the ramp up of vaccinations across the province. Up to 60 pharmacies will participate in Ottawa, Durham, Hamilton, Windsor-Essex and York public health regions' hot spot areas.

Individuals aged 18 and over will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a pharmacy.

Ontario Pharmacists Association CEO Justin Bates tells CTV News at Five that six Ottawa pharmacies will receive the Moderna vaccine.

"There will be equitable balance between those that are chain and independent, and we're hopeful that they will receive supplies of Moderna on Friday," said Bates Wednesday evening.

Bates said depending on when the vaccines arrive, pharmacies could begin offering the Moderna doses "as early as" Friday afternoon.

The Ontario Pharmacists Association has worked with Ontario health officials to identify pharmacies to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. 

"We worked with the public health units to identify priority areas in each of the regions, so that we would have a focus in the hot spots," said Bates. "They identified a short-list of stores that we chose from and were approved ultimately by the Ministry of Health."

Speaking on Newstalk 580 CFRA's Ottawa at Work with Leslie Roberts on Thursday, Bates said 150 Moderna vaccines will be delivered to each pharmacy in Ottawa each week.

More information on the pharmacies will be released on Friday.