Save Our Seniors program, which gets homebound seniors COVID-19 vaccines, expanding to Dallas

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced an expansion of the program that's reaching seniors in need of COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Save Our Seniors program launched last month.

Working with local fire departments and military members, administrators have reached out to homebound seniors.

On Thursday, the governor reminded seniors that although eligibility opens to all Texans on Monday, seniors remain a priority.

"So for the time being, anyone who is 80 years or older, you will get to go to the front of any line providing vaccines in any part of the state of Texas," Abbott said.

Hundreds of North Texas seniors have already been reached through the program, with some help from Meals on Wheels.

The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) said the Save Our Seniors program is saving lives.

RELATED: Programs working to reach North Texas seniors who can't visit COVID-19 vaccination sites

Coronavirus vaccines

Coronavirus vaccines

Their average client is over 70 years old and homebound. They need the COVID-19 vaccine, but can't leave their homes

The pilot program is now being expanded into the city of Dallas, where hundreds of seniors are likely in need, as the work to save our seniors is expanding across North Texas.

"As more and more of the vaccine becomes available, I think they'll be more opportunity for us to be able to deliver those vaccines to more of our clients," said Chris Culak, with VNA.

Earlier this month, the VNA, in partnership with the DeSoto Fire Department and Texas National Guard gave first-dose COVID-19 vaccines to homebound seniors in DeSoto and Cedar Hill who are part of the Meals on Wheels program.

"It's just a good road map and plan on how to do this, how to execute this," said Jerry Duffield, who is fire chief and emergency management coordinator for DeSoto.

Since the event on March 5, Culak said the VNA has vaccinated an additional 150 Meals on Wheels recipients in Lancaster, Duncanville, and DeSoto.

Seniors who got the vaccine on March 5 were grateful for the house call.

"I do really appreciate them coming into my home to do this, it makes it easier," one person said.

As early as next week, some 2,500 Meals on Wheels recipients living in the city of Dallas could become eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccine at home.

Dallas Fire-Rescue will assist.

"We're going through the process of asking those clients do they want the vaccine or not," Culak explained.

How quickly the process takes depends on how many vaccines they get from the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

At a news conference Thursday about the Save Our Seniors program, Gov. Abbott said more help is on the way.

"So far, 90 counties have participated in the program," he said.

"It's a great initiative the governor has. Without that, I don't think we'd have the opportunity to deliver the shots to people's homes," Culak said.

The VNA wants to remind people that this particular in-bound vaccination option is only for seniors who are part of the Meals on Wheels program. It is not open to the general public at this time.