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Gov. Greg Abbott to speak in McAllen at 2 p.m. on efforts to vaccinate Texas seniors



McAllen, TX—Gov. Greg Abbott held a press conference from the city of McAllen Thursday and gave an update on efforts to vaccinate seniors in Texas.

Abbott’s focus was on the Save Our Seniors initiative, which is a program that was announced in February and began March 1.

The program is to ensure more seniors are vaccinated against COVID-19 throughout the state.

“First and foremost is to emphasize that as we continue to respond to the challenge of COVID, we have one priority, that is our top priority,” said Abbott. “Ensuring that we provide vaccinations for our seniors.”

The initiative began in rural parts across Texas to ensure people that had limited access to the vaccine were obtaining it.

“So far 90 counties have participated in the program to vaccinate homebound seniors,” said Abbott. “Now, the program is reaching out to more populated counties like Hidalgo.”

The Governor also announced an expansion of the Save Our Seniors project. In addition to the teams that locate seniors that are homebound, the project will have an outreach program.

“We are working with Medicaid health plans, including United Healthcare, Humana, Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Texas,” said Gov. Abbott. “The partnership also includes working with the Texas retirement employer system, the teacher retirement system, AARP.”

On Tuesday, The Department of State Health Services announced all adults will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Texas starting Monday, March 29.

“Even though any adult will be eligible for the vaccine, our key focus remains on making sure that seniors are able to get access to the vaccine shots,” said Abbott. “Anybody that is 80 years or older, are able to get in front of any line providing vaccines in any part of the state of Texas, all you need is an identification card.”

Gov. Abbott added, those 80 years or older do not need an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Go to any location that is providing vaccine shots and you are able to get to the front of the line.” said the Governor.

Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Chief Nim Kidd and Texas National Guard Adjutant General Tracy Norris joined Gov. Abbott.

“As the Governor is expanding the program for the seniors, we are also expanding our forces and support on what is needed at the local communities,” said Norris.

Anyone that wants a COVID-19 vaccine shot can dial “211.” The line will connect people to the COVID response hotline, and an operator can assist with clinic locations, according to the Governor.