Texas Makes Any Adult Eligible For COVID-19 Vaccine - 03/28/21 - Segment 3
- Among those considered most vulnerable for getting COVID-19, the senior population. Last Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott spoke about the statewide initiative called Save Our Seniors.
GREG ABBOTT: We have one priority that is our top priority, and that is ensuring that we provide vaccinations for our seniors. And there's a reason for that. Mathematically, it's a fact that seniors who contract COVID are the people who are most likely to either be hospitalized or lose their life because of COVID.
And we have seen, because of the roll out of vaccines and because of the significant number of seniors who have already received a COVID vaccine, that has led to an ongoing downtrend in the number of people who are hospitalized, as well as the positivity rate in the state of Texas. So these vaccines are working, but the fact is there are more seniors who still have yet to receive a COVID vaccine. So what we want to do today is tell you what we are doing specifically in Hidalgo County and the Rio Grande Valley to make sure that more seniors will be able to get access to a COVID vaccine.
Last month, we launched a program called Save Our Seniors. It's a program to ensure that homebound seniors will be able to get access to COVID vaccines. This effort has been spearheaded by the Texas Division of Emergency Management, as well as the Texas National Guard, working in collaboration with local partners.
We began this program in rural parts of Texas, so sparsely-populated areas, as we worked to both perfect the program, but also worked to get to places that simply were not getting any access to COVID shots whatsoever. So far, 90 counties have participated in the program to vaccinate homebound seniors. We are announcing today an expansion of the Save Our Seniors project.
In addition to the teams that will be going around identifying and locating seniors who are homebound and providing them a vaccine, we have an outreach program. It's a combination effort by the state of Texas, the Texas Health and Human Services commission, as well as local entities. Let me give you some examples.
We're working with Medicare health plans, including UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. And the partnership also includes working with the Texas Employee Retirement System, the Teachers Retirement System, AARP, which together will help us identify seniors age 50 and older who we can reach out to to make sure that they are capable of getting a vaccine. All together, this will continue to expand the number of people who are most likely to be hospitalized from COVID to be able to get a vaccine, get it quickly to make sure they stay healthy.
- I'll be back with a final thought. A big development in the fight against COVID-19 right here in North Texas. That's next on To the Point.