BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — The Special Olympics of Texas [SOTX] is teaming up with a pharmacy chain to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for adult special athletes, coaches, and their families.
It’s been months since the Special Olympics of Texas have been able to host a major event, and the organization is determined to bring its athletes and families back together.
On Friday the announcement was made that pharmacy chain Tarrytown will be distributing COVID-19 vaccines to the Special Olympics community.
"We have several thousand vaccines available," said Jess Kilbane, communications manager for Unified with SOTX. "[It's for anyone] over the age of 18 - any Special Olympics athletes, coaches, volunteers, athlete family members, and Unified partners. So if you are a part of our Special Olympics Texas family... then you are eligible.”
The vaccines, which are of the Johnson & Johnson variety, will be distributed next month in several locations across the state.
College Station has been selected as a city to receive a vaccine hub, though the specific venue in town has yet to be formally designated.
Vaccine recipients do not have to qualify under the state’s 1A or 1B tiers to receive the vaccine.
"We really want to get back onto the field as soon as possible," Kilbane said. "And it is our belief system that you can make these healthy choices for yourself.”
Darla Dyke, a board member with the Down Syndrome Association of the Brazos Valley, is mom to a special athlete, and wife to a Special Olympics coach. Though the Dyke family has already been able to acquire vaccines, Darla said that local special needs families have been hoping for a chance to be vaccinated.
"There are several families that have not been able to get the vaccine yet because they haven’t qualified," she said. "So you just think about people with special needs, even autism - it’s not going to qualify for them to get a vaccine.”
Darla hopes to coordinate with other Special Olympics families in the Brazos Valley, to help facilitate transportation to the vaccine hub once it arrives in town next month.
Special Olympics participants and partners have until midnight on Wednesday of this week to sign up online by visiting, right here!