Gov. Charlie Baker announced Wednesday that Massachusetts will roll out the COVID-19 vaccine in three phases, with the general public getting access as early as April.
The plan relies on the Food and Drug Administration approval, which is expected to happen soon.
The vaccine will be free and insurance companies will not charge any copayments or out-of-pocket costs, Baker said.
The first phase of vaccinations, starting this month and estimated to run until February, will include (in order of priority):
-healthcare workers doing direct COVID-facing care
-those in long-term care facilities, rest homes and assisted living facilities
-public safety workers
-people at congregate care settings, like jails, prisons and shelters
-home-based healthcare workers
-healthcare workers doing no-COVID-facing care
The second phase, planned for February to April, will include (in order of priority):
-those with two or more health conditions that would put them at risk for COVID-19 complications
-early education, K-12, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation, public works and public health workers
-adults older than 65
-those with one health condition putting them at risk for COVID complications
Phase three, expected to start in April and run through June, would include everyone else.
Baker said the federal government is sending 300,000 doses by the end of December, with the first order coming Dec. 15. The vaccines require two doses, spread about six weeks apart, for maximum effectiveness.