AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas’ “Save Our Seniors” program, aimed at vaccinating homebound older people against COVID-19, rolls out across the state Monday.
The initiative was announced by Governor Greg Abbott during a press conference in Corpus Christi last week.
It will happen with the help of more than 1,100 National Guardsmen who will work with organizations such as Meals On Wheels and nursing groups to identify and register homebound seniors for the program. Other members of the National Guard will visit homes to administer the vaccines.
Abbott said the plan is modeled after the City of Corpus Christi’s vaccination program, which has been a success in the local area.
“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,” he said.
In its first week, 8,000 doses of vaccine has been allocated to “Save Our Seniors” with more doses set to follow in the coming weeks and months.
The newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine could play a big role in the initiative, Gov. Abbott said.
“I think the most efficient use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine would be to homebound seniors,” he said. “They could also be used at supersites and hub locations.”
The governor indicated that most people in Phase 1A and Phase 1B of Texas’ vaccine distribution have now been vaccinated, and said he expects to “open up” distribution to more people in March.
“This week we’re getting the largest amount of vaccines ever, which is well over a million,” Abbott said. “I would anticipate we open up vaccine distribution very soon, and that means sometime in March.”
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, more than 5.1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the state, and more than 1.7 million people are fully vaccinated.