LONDON, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) says they are looking to mid-March to begin vaccinations of residents who are 80 and over.

While the timing isn’t fully known yet MLHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie said an update can be expected early next week, either Monday or Tuesday.

Meanwhile the health unit is looking at whether or not they can use their own booking system as province prepares its own.

“You know right now we've got a system that's working well. It can be adjusted locally to meet where we're at in the campaign say, and that's where we're planning to continue to work after the foreseeable future,” said Mackie at Thursday’s briefing.

The province plans to launch their system for bookings by March 15, but Minister Christine Elliot indicated areas with suitable systems already won’t be forced to use the provincial system immediately.

“We don't want to rush to failure, we want to make sure that when this system is ready it's not going to crash…There are some areas that are ready to start booking people over age 80 with their own local systems, but once our large system is up and running they will then be relying on that system," said Elliot.

The health unit is anticipating a large volume of calls, and is also urging residents to inform family members and loved ones over the age of 80 that they are eligible once the rollout begins.

While the London region is aiming for mid-March some areas will begin vaccinations even sooner despite a provincial target of the third week of March.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit says they are moving forward with Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations for seniors over 80 years old starting on March 1.