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Texas to launch senior vaccination program inspired by Corpus Christi

The Corpus Christi Caller Times logo The Corpus Christi Caller Times 2/25/2021 Vicky Camarillo, Corpus Christi Caller Times
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Texas will launch a statewide Save Our Seniors initiative inspired by Corpus Christi’s program to give COVID-19 vaccines to homebound seniors.

Starting Monday, the state will deploy more than 1,100 National Guard members across the state to assist with the initiative. They will break up into teams that will identify and register seniors for the program, while others will visit homes to give vaccines.

Gov. Greg Abbott made the announcement Thursday in a press conference at Corpus Christi’s Fire Station 18. 

The state will dedicate up to 8,000 vaccines for the first week and will work with organizations such as Meals on Wheels and nursing groups to identify seniors who want a vaccine.

a group of people wearing costumes: Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo speaks with Gov. Greg Abbott following press conference where he announced a statewide Saving Our Seniors COVID-19 vaccine program on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. © Courtney Sacco/Caller-Times Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo speaks with Gov. Greg Abbott following press conference where he announced a statewide Saving Our Seniors COVID-19 vaccine program on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.

Vaccinating people such as seniors who are most at risk is key to fighting COVID-19, Abbott said. About 40% of people 65 and older have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, according to Texas Department of State Health Services data.

Corpus Christi Fire Department personnel have given first doses to about 2,000 people since late January and began giving second doses this week. As of Wednesday, 144 homebound seniors have been fully vaccinated, Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo said.

Those seniors were identified by their participation in the city’s senior programs.

Greg Abbott et al. posing for the camera: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces a statewide Saving Our Seniors COVID-19 vaccine program during a press conference at Corpus Christi's Fire Station 18 on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. © Courtney Sacco/Caller-Times Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces a statewide Saving Our Seniors COVID-19 vaccine program during a press conference at Corpus Christi's Fire Station 18 on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.

“We wish that it could go faster and we wish that we could double the manpower and the vaccine power behind the program,” Guajardo said. “At this time, we can’t. However … my city council and myself have the utmost priority for our most vulnerable, our seniors, our disabled and those at home that cannot get in any line, short or long.

a group of people watching a band on stage in front of a building: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces a statewide Saving Our Seniors COVID-19 vaccine program during a press conference at Corpus Christi's Fire Station 18 on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. © Courtney Sacco/Caller-Times Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces a statewide Saving Our Seniors COVID-19 vaccine program during a press conference at Corpus Christi's Fire Station 18 on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.

“We’re honored, and we really are proud that we are the lead in the state of Texas to touch this vulnerable population.”

Vicky Camarillo covers Nueces County and statewide issues. See our subscription options and special offers at Caller.com/subscribe.

MORE COVID-19 COVERAGE

More: Registration to open for 2,500 first-dose vaccines

More: Nearly 1 million Texans fully vaccinated as feds secure 200 million more COVID-19 doses

More: Here's how many people have received a COVID-19 vaccine in Nueces County

This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: Texas to launch senior vaccination program inspired by Corpus Christi

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