Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and the Texas Military Department (TMD) have announced 24 counties participating in the eighth week of the Save Our Seniors COVID-19 vaccine initiative. The Governor announced the Save Our Seniors program in Corpus Christi in March to provide vaccines to seniors throughout the state.
To date, over 62,000 Texans have been vaccinated through this initiative. According to DSHS, 74% of seniors (65+) in Texas have been vaccinated with at least one dose of vaccine, and 59% of seniors are fully vaccinated.
“Since the launch of the Save Our Seniors initiative, our partners at TDEM and TMD have worked diligently to vaccinate seniors across our state, and I thank them for their exceptional leadership and hard work on behalf of Texans,” said Governor Abbott. “Vaccines are the most effective tool in our arsenal against COVID-19, and we will continue to invest in this program to ensure that every Texan who wants a vaccine receives one.”
As part of the Save Our Seniors program, TDEM and TMD work alongside local jurisdictions to set up central drive-through vaccine clinics in each community or administer directly to homebound seniors — these decisions are driven by local officials as they identify vulnerable residents in their communities to participate in this program.
Counties participating in the eighth round of the program are Angelina, Atascosa, Caldwell, Cherokee, Culberson, Eastland, El Paso, Hale, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hopkins, Houston, Jim Hogg, Kimble, Leon, Llano, Maverick, Milam, Nueces, Rusk, Taylor, Tyler, Val Verde, and Webb.
Many of these counties are participating for a second time in order to administer second doses to eligible residents. In coordination with local and state partners, counties and cities have been selected based on recent data provided from DSHS related to the following factors:
- The state looked at the number of approved providers serving the area;
- 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 vaccines equitably across the state.
Last month, Governor Abbott announced a new outreach partnership between the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and several partners to enhance the state’s Save Our Seniors program. The partnership includes the Texas Employee Retirement System, the Texas Teachers Retirement System, AARP, and Medicare health plans.
Participating Medicare health plans include UnitedHealthcare, Humana, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. HHSC works with these partners on direct outreach efforts through email, phone calls, and direct mail to encourage seniors to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to provide them with the tools and information they need to receive a vaccine.