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4 East Texas counties join initiative to vaccinate homebound seniors


EAST TEXAS (KTAL/KMSS) – Four East Texas counties are among more than two dozen statewide participating in an initiative to get more homebound seniors vaccinated against COVID-19.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced the “Save our Seniors” program last week and the state allocated 8,000 vaccines for the first week, which began Monday.

The state chose 26 counties to participate, including Panola, Shelby, Cass, and Morris Counties. According to Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison, they will be receiving 200 doses. Morris and Panola counties are getting 100 each.

“Your elderly can drive to the bank, post office, and grocery store in town. However, they may not be able to travel to Nacogdoches, Shreveport, and San Augustine,” said Harbison.

The selected counties were chosen based on several factors:

  1. The state targeted areas with ongoing high hospitalizations;
  2. The state looked at the number of approved providers serving the area;
  3. The state took into account areas who reported no more than approximately a third vaccinated for seniors;
  4. The state took into account total allocations over the previous 12 weeks;
  5. The state utilized data showing the least vaccinated counties for both 65+ and 75+ administered doses;
  6. The state focused on allocating vaccine equitably across the state. 

In Danigerfield, Brookshire’s is the only provider to vaccinate eligible residents. Morris County Judge says residents travel to nearby cities and counties to receive the COVID-19 shot. For Panola County, the Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Tommy Earle says he has having a hard time getting vaccine into the county. Although, he believes Brookshire’s and Panola College has vaccinated a lot of residents. “I know I have called and emailed a few people trying to figure out why we aren’t getting the vaccine.

Although officials are happy to receive help from the state, they would all like to see more of a steady flow come their way.

For eligible Shelby County residents, the county is still accepting names to get on their vaccination list. The vaccinations will take place Friday at the Civic Center in Center, TX.

In Morris County, a COVID-19 form is now available to get signed up for Saturday’s vaccination.

In Panola County, all of the slots are filled for Thursday’s vaccination.

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