BOSTON (CBS) -- The Massachusetts general public can expect to wait at least until the spring for a coronavirus vaccine, Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday. However, the vaccine will be available as early as this month for some at-risk individuals.
"The feds told us yesterday, on the call that I was on, that we should expect to see vaccine distributed sometime in mid-December. That they would begin the distribution process for Pfizer sometime in mid-December and then Moderna would probably start to be distributed shortly after that," Baker said at a briefing at the State House.
He said the details were still in the works but the initial focus will be on people at high-risk, including health care workers and the elderly.
"That's probably where the most of the activity is in December, January, February, and March," the governor said.
Baker said it's important to keep in mind the first vaccines available may be administered in two doses.
"So if you were somebody who got dosed because you were in a high-risk role -- senior citizen in a nursing home, health care worker, high-risk community, whatever it might be -- you would get one dose, and then you would be scheduled for the second dose that would come three or four weeks later. The thing to remember here is...it's going to take a while."
If all goes well, Baker said the vaccine would reach residents who aren't at a high risk in the spring.
The governor also said the vaccine would likely not be mandated for students, since kids under 18 are at less of a risk.
"Remember this vaccine is basically for over 18s. The reason its for over 18s is because the under 18s are nowhere near at the level of risk as everybody else, either to get it or to transmit it."
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh added to the conversation by saying, "the vaccine is something [that's] your individual choice. Personally, I will be getting the vaccine when it's available to me. I think it's important, as long as the CDC guidelines come out and my public health experts say that it's safe to take the vaccine, then I'll take the vaccine. I think a lot of people should be looking for that guidance and right now there doesn't seem to be a question about is the vaccine going to be safe, it's kind of when is the vaccine going to be out, what version of the vaccine."
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