Many Homebound Texas Seniors Still Awaiting 1st COVID-19 Vaccine Dose

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As Texas expands eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine, many seniors who are homebound still haven’t been able to get their first shot.

Those who are unable to get to vaccination clinics on their own say they feel forgotten.

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“They don’t know what to do,” said Kathy Estes, an administrator for the popular Facebook group ‘DFW Covid Vaccine Finder.’ “They don’t know where to go or who’s going to come to them.”

Some homebound seniors are turning to their social media page for help.

“We’ve got people commenting, look I don’t drive or I can’t pull my oxygen down to Fair Park, what do I do?” said Jon Battle, another one of the group’s moderators.

Arlington resident Rhonda Finley has a degenerative disc disease and breathing problems that make it nearly impossible for her to leave home.

She’s desperate to get the vaccine so she can see her grandkids.

“Least I’d be able to have visitors come,” Finley said.

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The state is working to reach seniors who are homebound through the “Save Our Seniors” initiative, which has been able to vaccinate more than 10,000 people in Texas since it launched two weeks ago.

Right now, the program is only being implemented in five cities in Dallas County: DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, Duncanville, and Wilmer.

National Guardsmen work with local first responders to give at-home vaccinations to people identified through Meals On Wheels.

Other cities and counties in North Texas could be selected for the initiative in the coming weeks.

Tarrant County Public Health is also working on a way to address the need.

It will likely be through a partnership with MedStar and the UNT Health Science Center.

But in the meantime, homebound seniors will have to keep waiting.

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“Please, please search us out and do it as soon as possible,” said Finley. “My main thing is show us that you care.”

CBS Dallas / Fort Worth