KITCHENER -- Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health launched an online COVID-19 vaccine portal earlier this week and is ready to move on to the next priority group in Phase One.

The health unit is exceeding vaccine rollout targets, moving to the next priority group as laid out by the province.

"We began with the 80 plus adults last week," said Dr. Matthew Tenenbaum, associate medical officer of health with the region. "We've been doing vaccines since January. The first group, of course, was the long-term care and retirement homes."

People can now pre-register for appointments online, as long as they're local residents and fall into one of the priority categories. Dr. Tenenbaum said people need to be from the area and will be turned away if their identification shows they're from another region.

"We are asking everyone in those groups to actually register with us so we can bring them into our clinics as the vaccine becomes available and spaces become available for them," Dr. Tenenbaum said.

The health unit has vaccinated 2.5 per cent of its eligible population to date, administering more than 15,000 doses. More than 6,000 people have received both doses.

However, some people are still confused about navigating the online system.

"This morning, I tried phoning and I couldn't get any answer and, again this afternoon I tried on the computer and I couldn't get through," resident Joyce Lalondh said. "I was hoping to pre-register to find out some information, whether I'm eligible because I've got an auto-immune disease."

Pat French was able to pre-register online.

"Everybody in our complex has either got a call back or already had their vaccine, and we've heard nothing," French said.

Dr. Tenenbaum said pre-registering doesn't mean you've booked an appointment.

"Once you're in that system and we're working through the sub-groups of Phase One," he said. "We contact people who are enrolled and invite them to book an appointment and that second step is when they actually get a date and time to show up."

Libraries in Guelph and Wellington County said they can help residents with pre-registration, as long as they have a phone number or email and an Ontario health card.