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Governor Abbott announces new statewide COVID-19 vaccine effort for homebound residents in Texas

Abbott said the state will be deploying more than 1,100 National Guard across the state to vaccinate homebound seniors.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Governor Greg Abbott stopped Corpus Christi today to honor the local fire department and the City of Corpus Christi for their homebound seniors vaccine program. 

The Corpus Christi Fire Department began vaccinating seniors in partnership with the Meals on Wheels through a program the city calls "Save Our Seniors." 

Now, the program is expanding to cover the entire state of Texas.

"We are announcing today, a statewide program to save our seniors," Abbott said. "The state will deploy more than 1,100 National Guard across the state to communities to vaccinate homebound seniors."

Abbott said this program gets Texas closer to the main goal when it comes to COVID-19.

"Mathematically, the best way to do that, is to vaccinate our seniors and quickly as possible," Abbott said.

Abbott added that Texas has the power to staff this program. The next step one is locating homebound seniors. 

"We're working on the strategies like Corpus Christi has done in counties across the state of Texas to make sure we can identify where those seniors are and quickly get them vaccinated," Abbott said.

Credit: 3News

Some of those strategies include using the Meals on Wheels program by the city to find vulnerable populations. 

Locally, Fire Chief Robert Rocha said it's an honor to be part of a program that will not only protect Coastal Bend residents, but Texans.

"We look forward to work with our partners throughout the state and sharing with them some of the successes that we had here in Corpus Christi," Rocha said.

Abbott said by the end of March, the state plans on vaccinating all seniors who are wanting the vaccine. The vaccination effort was one that Mayor Paulette Guajardo told 3News was praised and emulated around the state.

"A key part of our mission in the fight against COVID-19, is to vaccinate seniors and those who are most at risk, and senior vaccination programs like the one in Corpus Christi are crucial to accomplishing this mission," said Governor Abbott.  

RELATED: Firefighters help vaccinate homebound residents in Corpus Christi

"I am proud of the work being done by the Corpus Christi Fire Department, Meals On Wheels, and city leadership to identify and vaccinate homebound seniors in their community," Abbott said. 

"By implementing a similar model throughout the state, and with the support of the Texas National Guard, we will reach more homebound seniors in communities across Texas and provide them with these life-saving vaccines."

The state is dedicating up to 8,000 vaccines for this initiative for the first week and will work with organizations like Meals On Wheels and nursing groups to identify homebound seniors. The program will launch Monday, Abbott's office said.  

"I want to thank everybody involved in this entire process in the Corpus Christi area for turning this program into a success," Abbott said about SOS. 

Abbott said there will be a record amount of vaccines available across Texas this week.

RELATED: Gov. Abbott announces new measures to help struggling Texans in the wake of historic winter storms

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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