(WGGB/WSHM) -- Governor Charlie baker announced Wednesday that the state is moving on to the next step in the coronavirus vaccine plan.

People now in prisons, homeless shelters, and other congregate care settings will get their first doses starting next week.

The governor has given the go-ahead for inmates and staff at correctional facilities to begin getting COVID-19 vaccinations if they want them, as well as others who live in close-knit care settings.

Besides prisons, those settings include, according to Baker, “Congregate care includes congregate care group homes, residential treatment programs, community-based acute treatment programs and clinical stabilization programs, shelter programs including homeless shelter, domestic violence centers, and veterans shelters, and approved private special education schools.”

Here is a look at where the state stands right now in Phase 1. As we are in the second week of January, frontline workers, long-term care facilities, first responders, and now congregate care facilities will be getting the COVID-19 vaccine.


Image provided by Mass. DPH

“We decided early on that we would focus on populations that were most at risk and all the data and all the evidence makes it pretty clear that congregant care settings are at-risk communities,” Baker noted.

Western Mass News is breaking down the vaccine roll out plan in the state.

Phase 1 is where we are now.  The plan is to move into Phase 2 in February.  That's when people over the age of 75 can start getting the vaccine and newly added today, people living in public and private low-income and affordable senior housing.

Later in Phase 2, it's expected teachers, grocery workers, and other public workers will be given the green light.

In Phase 3, the general public will be able to get the vaccine.  That's expected to start in April.

phase graphic 1 12 21.jpg

Image provided by Mass. DPH

The governor said the phases seem to be going as planned.

"If the vaccines arrived as they are anticipated to arrive and I said yesterday, we don’t get a lot of long visibility into when the vaccines are going to show up...they show up when they are expected to show up, then yes, Phase 2 will start at the same time we anticipated," Baker noted.

Baker said after Gillette Stadium opens for vaccinations on Monday, he's expecting to announce more mass vaccination sites that will open around the state, including in western Massachusetts.

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