TORONTO -- A COVID-19 hot spot in Ontario is planning to ramp up its vaccine rollout by lowering the age of people eligible to receive the shot every week.

The top doctor for Peel Region, which includes the cities of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon, said he hopes the move will help control the spread of COVID-19 variants of concern that are threatening to overwhelm the health-care system.

"We are at a very critical juncture with the increase in variants of concern and the frustration with the measures that are in place and our resources being strained to a maximum," Dr. Lawrence Loh, the region's medical officer of health said Thursday.

"However, I am hopeful, because vaccination is here, and while it will need time to be successful, it will position us well to ultimately prevent a fourth wave."

Peel public health officials said they will start vaccinating people aged 50 and older on Monday, and will descend through the age ranges in five year increments each week.

Public health experts have said the novel coronavirus is hardest to control in cities such as Brampton where households are larger and there's a higher proportion of essential service workers.