MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) will be among the nearly 20 hospitals to receive the vaccine next, the province announced Friday, and it could be arrive within days.

"Following a successful pilot, we are excited to continue onto the next stage of our rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines to Ontarians," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health in a statement. "While we are planning to ensure that everyone who wants a vaccine will receive one, we need to first protect our frontline workers and those providing essential care to our most vulnerable."

The province says LHSC has the equipment necessary to store the Pfizer vaccine and staff are ready to administer it.

In a letter to staff obtained by CTV News, LHSC President and CEO Dr. Paul Woods indicated who would receive the vaccine first.

“We expect the first doses will be administered to health-care workers who are providing care in long-term care homes and other targeted clinical settings. Given that some mild side effects may represent COVID-19 like symptoms, only a small percentage of staff from different clinical areas will receive vaccination in a staggered approach.”

The vaccine will be administerd at the field hospital set up at the Western Fair Agriplex over the next few weeks.

The MLHU expects the vaccine to start arriving in the next few days, and Mackie said in a statement the health unit is happy to be working with LHSC to deliver the vaccine to front-line workers and beyond.

“This is the beginning of the next phase of our pandemic response and we will get vaccine to everyone who wants it as soon as we can. This will be a long journey, and we’re still a long way from being able to provide a COVID-19 vaccine to the public.”

Going forward, the health unit says it will work with partners at Southwestern Public Health, which handles Elgin and Oxford counties, and Huron Perth Public Health to determine priority populations for the vaccination program.