Fourth week of COVID-19 vaccine initiative targets seniors in 25 Texas counties

More than two dozen Texas counties will participate in the fourth week of the state’s "Save Our Seniors" COVID-19 vaccine initiative.

Governor Greg Abbott announced the program in February to ensure more seniors, including homebound Texans, are vaccinated throughout the state.

RELATED: 'Save Our Seniors' initiative will help homebound Texans get vaccinated

The 25 counties participating this week include Caldwell, Camp, Crockett, Delta, DeWitt, Duval, Fayette, Hidalgo, Hunt, Jim Hogg, Kimble, Llano, Lynn, Maverick, Milam, Montague, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Sherman, Starr, Titus, Tyler, Val Verde and Zapata.

To date, 88 counties have participated in the program. Twenty-six counties participated in the first week, 34 counties participated in the second week and 28 counties participated in the third week.

"Thanks to the ongoing success of the Save Our Seniors program, more elderly Texans are being vaccinated than ever before," said Governor Abbott. "We will continue to deploy state vaccination resources across Texas to reach more seniors and get more shots in arms."

RELATED: New rules expand in-person visits at Texas nursing facilities

The governor’s office says the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Texas Military Department will work with local jurisdictions to set up a central drive-through vaccine clinic in the community or administer directly to homebound seniors. The decisions will be driven by local officials as they identify vulnerable residents in their communities to participate in the program.

Officials say the cities and counties were selected to participate based on data provided from the Texas Department of State Health Services related to the following factors:

1. The state looked at the number of approved providers serving the area;

2. The state took into account total allocations over the previous 12 weeks;

3. The state utilized data showing the least vaccinated counties for both 65+ and 75+ administered doses;

4. The state focused on allocating vaccine equitably across the state.

RELATED: Texas opening COVID-19 vaccines to all adults on March 29

On Tuesday, the state announced that all adults in Texas would become eligible to receive the vaccine on March 29. DSHS has directed vaccine providers to prioritize people 80 years or older when scheduling appointments. They were also instructed to accommodate anyone in that age group who presents for vaccination, whether or not they have an appointment, and move them to the front of the line.