AUSTIN (KSLA) - Governor Greg Abbott announced Thursday, Feb. 25 that a statewide initiative to vaccinate homebound seniors against COVID-19 is launching in Texas.
A program to vaccinate Texans who are 75 and older or homebound is ongoing in Corpus Christi and serves as the model for the state’s initiative.
“A key part of our mission in the fight against COVID-19 is to vaccinate seniors and those who are most at risk — and senior vaccination programs like the one in Corpus Christi are crucial to accomplishing this mission,” said Gov. Abbott. “I am proud of the work being done by the Corpus Christi Fire Department, Meals On Wheels, and city leadership to identify and vaccinate homebound seniors in their community. By implementing a similar model throughout the state, and with the support of the Texas National Guard, we will reach more homebound seniors in communities across Texas and provide them with these life-saving vaccines.”
As part of the initiative, the state will send more than 1,000 National Guard members to help communities vaccinate homebound seniors. The guardsmen will focus on identifying and registering homebound seniors and visit homes to administer vaccines. The state is allocating up to 8,000 doses for the first week of the initiative. Gov. Abbott says the state will work with organizations such as Meals on Wheels and various nursing groups to identify seniors in need of the vaccine.
The program launched Monday, March 1.
“The Save Our Seniors program will help us reach vulnerable homebound seniors across the state and provide them with live-saving COVID-19 vaccines,” said Gov. Abbott. “As more communities are identified and selected for the program, we will be able to get more shots in arms and further strengthen our response to this virus.”
Counties participating in the first round of the program include: Aransas, Bastrop, Brewster, Brooks, Brown, Cass, Dallas, Eastland, Freestone, Gray, Hill, Hockley, Hudspeth, Hutchinson, Irion, Lee, McCulloch, Medina, Morris, Panola, Rains, Refugio, Robertson, San Jacinto, Shelby, and Webb.
The above counties were selected based on data from DSHS related to the following factors:
- The state targeted areas with ongoing high hospitalizations
- The state looked at the number of approved providers serving the area
- The state took into account areas who reported no more than approximately a third vaccinated for seniors
- The state took into account total allocations over the previous 12 weeks
- The state utilized data showing the least vaccinated counties for both 65+ and 75+ administered doses
- The state focused on allocating vaccine equitably across the state