Gov. Abbott to give update Thursday at 2 p.m. on efforts to vaccinate Texas seniors

State & Regional

Gov. Greg Abbott holds a press conference (Source: Salvador Castro, ValleyCentral.com)

MCALLEN, Texas (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott will give an update Thursday on efforts to vaccinate seniors in Texas — especially those who are homebound.

Abbott will hold a news conference from McAllen in the Rio Grande Valley at 2 p.m. on the Save Our Seniors initiative. Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Chief Nim Kidd and Texas National Guard Adjutant General Tracy Norris will join Abbott.

Abbott announced the Save Our Seniors program in February, and it kicked off March 1. The program is to ensure more seniors are vaccinated against COVID-19 throughout the state.

“The biggest challenge in trying to vaccinate seniors is having access to information where the seniors are,” Abbott said at the time, announcing a partnership with organizations like Meals on Wheels to help reach those seniors.

Through this program, TDEM and the Texas Military Department also worked with local governments to set up drive-thru vaccine clinics in each community.

This week, four counties in Central Texas — Caldwell, Fayette, Llano and Milam counties — participated in the fourth week of the Save Our Seniors initiative. At least 88 counties have participated so far, including 26 counties the first week, 34 the second week and 28 the third week.

Counties are chosen based on how many vaccine providers are in the area, total vaccine allocations so far, how many people in the older age groups are vaccinated and locations that would make the vaccine rollout more equitable.

“The Save Our Seniors program will help us reach vulnerable homebound seniors across the state and provide them with life-saving COVID-19 vaccines,” said 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.”

The Texas Department of State Health Services says it has given at least one vaccine dose to 6.4 million people. Of those, 1.78 million are between the ages of 65 and 79, and 494,466 are 80 years or older.

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