KITCHENER -- People aged 16 and over living in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph can now pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccination.

In a news release, officials said people eligible under Phase Three of Ontario's vaccination rollout likely won't receive a vaccination appointment until June. However, opening pre-registration now will help people get an appointment as soon as they are available.

“Now that all of us can pre-register for a vaccine appointment, I encourage everyone to do so as soon as possible,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer said in the release. “Safe, effective vaccines are our best way to fight COVID-19, protect our region and move back toward a more familiar way of life.”

Officials said as of Tuesday, 25 per cent of eligible residents in the health unit will have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“This is something to celebrate,” Dr. Mercer said. “Public health and all local vaccination partners continue to work aggressively toward vaccinating our region as quickly as possible.”

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph plans to have at least 75 per cent of eligible residents by the end of June.