Statewide Program Aimed at Vaccinations for Homebound Older Adults
“[Texas] is set to receive 1.5 million doses of coronavirus vaccine this week, which will include second doses and vaccine doses that were delayed due to last week’s winter storms. Abbott said President Joe Biden has told him the state will receive even more than that “in the coming days.”
The increase in supply will allow the state to expand beyond those currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, Abbott said, adding that he expects the Texas to move beyond 1A and 1B groups in March. Nearly 3.2 million Texans have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, or 11.6% of the state, according to state health data. Nearly 1.5 million Texans are fully vaccinated.
Vaccinating older adults remains one of the state’s top priorities, Abbott said. The statewide program, which will launch next to vaccinate homebound older adults. week, will deploy more than 1,100 Texas National Guard soldiers to help communities vaccinate homebound older adults.
More than 40% of those 65 and older have received at least one vaccine dose in Texas, and Abbott said the state’s goal is to have all those older adults vaccinated by the end of March.
The Texas initiative will be modeled on a program in Corpus Christi that has allowed the city to administer roughly 2,000 doses to homebound older adults through a partnership with the Meals on Wheels program and fire department. San Antonio and Arlington offer similar programs for their older adults.
Texas will dedicate 8,000 vaccine doses in the program’s first week and will work with community and elderly care groups to identify the homebound, according to the governor’s office. “Some of our seniors do have the ability to go to these vaccine hubs or to some other location, such as a drug store and get a vaccine,” Abbott said. “However, there are other seniors who don’t have the physical ability to travel to one of these hubs because they’re homebound.” – Austin American-Statesman 2/26/21
Update on single-dose Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Availability
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday (2/24) confirmed the safety and effectiveness of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose coronavirus vaccine, bringing it a step closer to being distributed to the public. Austin-Travis County health leaders for weeks have expressed their excitement for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, saying if doses of it do come to the area, then
distribution could go much quicker because the vaccine needs only one dose.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines both need two doses to be fully effective.
Austin Public Health officials on Wednesday said it was still unclear if and when Johnson & Johnson’s doses might arrive locally, but they said any additional vaccines available to the nation is a victory. “This is just another supply chain coming online that gives even more opportunity for residents to get the vaccine,” Austin Public Health stated Wednesday.” – Austin American-Statesman 2/25/21
We’re Taking Action
- Our care managers are working with clients in long-term care facilities to ensure they understand the vaccination information and its process.
- For older adults and people with disabilities who live in the affordable housing communities we serve, access to clinics and reliable transportation are big barriers. So, we’re coordinating with housing and vaccine providers to arrange on-site clinics. The timeline depends on the availability of the vaccine.
- We have arranged opportunities through Austin Public Health and are arranging opportunities through H-E-B for our employees who are considered essential workers to be vaccinated.
- Family Eldercare has been actively engaged with local leaders to help increase the flow of resources for older adults and adults with disabilities.
Here Are a Few Steps You Can Take Right Away
• Contact your physician to understand when the vaccine will become available in your area or pre-register to receive your vaccine through Austin Public Health.
• Review the full list of Vaccination Information & Resources below.
• Most vaccination opportunities require an appointment or pre-registration. Partner with us to ensure our clients who don’t have internet connection, computers, or face other technology barriers can still sign up to receive the vaccine.
• Forward this message along to anyone who may need the information.
Vaccination Information & Resources
Austin Public Health: Pre-register to receive the vaccine when it is shipped and available.
ATXvaccine: a shortlist of local vaccine providers.
Central Texas Veteran Healthcare System: the VA health care team will contact community members who are currently eligible to receive a vaccine. Staff will only provide vaccines to Veterans currently eligible based on VA and CDC risk criteria.
GoodRx: Nationwide vaccine locator
H-E-B: The local supermarket chain has requested more COVID-19 vaccines. Once the vaccine is available, eligible customers can sign up to receive a vaccine at no cost.
Tarrytown Pharmacy: This is a communication list form. Tarrytown Pharmacy staff will alert those who complete the form when the vaccine is available, if the individual is qualified to receive one.
38th Street Pharmacy: The local pharmacy will receive allocations of the vaccine. Staff will email those on the list to schedule appointments based on availability. The pharmacy will focus on group 1A on the priority list and then continue from there.
UT Health Austin: vaccine registration open to general public
The Texas Department of State Health Services has identified several priority groups to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Phase 1A recipients include healthcare workers, residents of long-term care facilities, and people over 65 or with a chronic medical condition that put them at increased risk for severe illness.
- Phase 1B recipients include individuals who are 65 or older and individuals who are 18 or older with chronic medical conditions.
- Phase 1C recipients include essential frontline workers (identified by the State of Texas).
- Phase 2 recipients include the general public, for which the vaccine is currently unavailable.
There are two vaccines available from Moderna and Pfizer, which are 94% or 95% effective at preventing COVID-19. Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and help stop community spread.
While waiting for your COVID-19 vaccine, please continue to protect yourself by wearing a mask and following all CDC guidelines.
- COVID-19 vaccine in Texas, visit dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx
- COVID-19 vaccine in Austin-Travis County, visit AustinTexas.gov/COVID19-Vaccines
- COVID-19 vaccine in Williamson County*, visit https://www.wilco.org/coronavirus
- Additional COVID-19 vaccine hubs throughout Central Texas, including Bastrop County, Bell County, Gillespie County, and Hays County, visit KUT’s resource guide here.
Family Hospital Systems will begin vaccinating eligible Texans at the Sun City Ballroom, located at 2 Texas Drive in Georgetown, starting January 20. Vaccinations will be provided through the weekend while supplies last. An appointment will be required before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.To register for the Sun City site, please visit https://familyhospitalsystems.typeform.com/to/NnnrXftS?typeform-source=familyhospitalssytems.typeform.com. Residents who need assistance getting registered are urged to call 833-984-3747.
*You do not need to reside in Williamson County for access.
Unfortunately, the need for the vaccine surpasses supplies available. It is our hope that you remain healthy, stay informed, and equipped with critical supportive resources during this extremely difficult time.