More than 10 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott said, with more than 30 percent of eligible Texans having received the experimental drugs. The Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Texas National Guard, health care workers and volunteers have helped administer the drug to a record number of people.
The governor touted the milestone as a “major accomplishment” and thanked the state’s health care workers and volunteers.
“The fight is not over,” he said. “Vaccines are the most effective tool to combat COVID-19 in our communities, and we will continue to expand vaccine access for those who choose to get vaccinated. As more vaccines become available and eligibility opens to all Texans, I urge Texans who wish to get the COVID-19 vaccine to sign up to help us keep our communities safe. Here in Texas, COVID-19 vaccines will always be strongly encouraged and always voluntary.”
Texas was the first state to administer one million doses. The state also launched its “Save our Seniors Initiative” on Feb. 25 to administer doses to homebound seniors. It launched a related outreach partnership this week with certain health plans, retirement systems and the AARP.
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.
The state is working with them to launch a direct outreach effort through email, phone calls, and direct mail to encourage two million seniors to receive the COVID shot.
“With the continued success of the Save Our Seniors program, we are protecting more seniors in Texas from COVID-19,” Abbott said.
The Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Texas Military Department are working with local jurisdictions to set up a central drive-through vaccine clinic in every community or administer the drug directly to homebound seniors. Since the program’s launch, 90 counties have participated or are actively participating, and nearly 24,000 Texas seniors have received the shot.
The Texas Department of Health Services announced that COVID-19 vaccinations will be open to all Texans beginning March 29.