Special Olympics Hosts Q&A on the Safety and Importance of the COVID-19 Vaccine

Dr. Rachel Levine, the Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Special Olympics Chief Health Officer Dr. Alicia Bazzano, and Special Olympics Chief Inspiration Officer Loretta Claiborne answered questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

On 9 September, Special Olympics hosted Dr. Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for a Q&A on the COVID-19 vaccine. Joined by Special Olympics Chief Health Officer Dr. Alicia Bazzano and Chief Inspiration Officer Loretta Claiborne, the group spoke about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, the introduction of booster shots, and the importance of being vaccinated, especially for people with intellectual disabilities. Watch the full Q&A on Special Olympics Facebook page.

People with intellectual disabilities often do not have equitable access to healthcare. In the United States, a recent study showed that people with intellectual disabilities are almost 6x more likely to die from COVID-19 than the general population.1

Special Olympics has created a COVID-19 toolkit for athletes, coaches, and caregivers to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and how they can protect themselves from the virus. The CDC launched an additional COVID-19 toolkit to further reach this population.

[1] Gleason, J., Ross, W., Fossi, A., Blonsky, H., Tobias, J., & Stephens, M. (2021). The devastating impact of Covid-19 on individuals with intellectual disabilities in the United States. NEJM Catalyst Innovations in Care Delivery, 2 (2).