Vaccinating the 2SLGBTQIA+ Community: What’s going on?

Written by Abby Skye and edited by Katie Mulcahy

On August 12, 2021, the Human Rights Campaign– in partnership with support from the Rockefeller Foundation– released a new study that came with shocking, yet welcoming results. This article will be a summary of the study, along with its impact and implications on the LGBTQ+ community. 

The Humans Rights Campaign is part of the United States’ largest LGBTQ+ educational organization. The study surveyed 15,000 LGBTQ+ adults in the United States regarding their first shot vaccination status. The joint study concluded that a whopping 92% of LGBTQ+ adults have gotten at least one Covid-19 Vaccination so far. This data has never been analyzed or studied before, which makes this a milestone for the LGBTQ+ community, and shows how caring and supportive this community really is. These results are worthy of a celebration and come with a few hypotheses considered by the Human Rights Campaign and the Rockefeller Foundation.

First, however, it is important to note that the results of the study are still new and came out before the Pfizer Vaccine became fully FDA approved, so there could likely be a slight margin or error compared to today if the study were to be conducted again. According to an ABC News article published on August 31, there has been a 17% increase in first vaccinations in the United States since the vaccine became fully FDA approved.

The same report by ABC News stated that about ⅓ of unvaccinated Americans would get the Covid-19 Vaccination if it got full FDA approval. Not only will unvaccinated adults begin to get theirs but they may also begin to allow their children to get the vaccination as well. With increased vaccination rates throughout the United States, the future seems hopeful. According to the ABC News Article, we are already at 53% of the overall goal of 70% of the population being fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

According to this recent study of LGBTQ+ adults vaccinations, age had very little effect on who got the vaccination. With 91% of those who were 18-34 had at least one Covid-19 vaccination, 92% of those who were 35-54 had at least one Covid-19 vaccination, and 94% of those who were 55 and older had at least one Covid-19 vaccination. These statistics are higher than that of the general population with at least one dose according to the CDC. With those who are 18+ having 74% with their first vaccination.

As to why the number of LGBTQ+ adults with at least one vaccination is higher is still being debated. However, in the Human Rights Campaign report, there are a few ideas that may have contributed to the outstanding amount. According to David Paisley, the senior director of research for Community Marketing and Insight and one of the leading LGBTQ+ research organizations in the United States for over 25 years, it isn’t too complicated. 

Paisley suggests that due to a more liberal-leaning way of thinking among LGBTQ+ adults, this would have swayed them to get the vaccine. This is understandable as in the heavily politicized atmosphere of the United States, vaccines are considered to be more of a liberal idea than a basic health and science concept. Therefore, if someone tends to lean more liberal, they are more likely to get the vaccine in the United States. 

Another idea Paisley discusses is that more LGBTQ+ adults live in blue (liberal) states. According to a study done by the Kaiser Family Foundation published July 8, 2021, blue counties had about a 47% full vaccination report as opposed to red (conservative) counties having about 35% full vaccination report. This is most likely due to the politicizing and side-picking previously discussed.

There is a lot more to the original article regarding first vaccination rates among LGBTQ+ adults, and it is a fascinating read, so the link to the initial study and all other studies mentioned will be listed below.

The impact and implications for the LGBTQ+ community regarding this newly released survey are more on the positive side. Even though the study excluded minors, many minors who identify as LGBTQ+ seem to have a similar trend of having higher vaccination rates than their non LGBTQ+ peers. This is also most likely due to the same ideas David Paisley had explored earlier in the article. This only proves that overall the LGBTQ+ community is doing above average and better than most communities when it comes to receiving at least one Covid-19 vaccination.

The implications about the community that can be drawn from the survey are that the LGBTQ+ community is a community full of people who care for others. Not everyone will get the Covid-19 vaccination, some will say it’s natural selection, some will say they simply don’t care for other people. Which makes the fact that 92% of the adult LGBTQ+ community has gotten at least one vaccination even more astonishing. 

Please keep in mind, however, this is not always the case – some people are not able to get a vaccination due to health conditions. Just because someone hasn’t gotten a shot doesn’t mean they aren’t planning to or don’t want to, it is best not to judge. This also implies that some members of the LGBTQ+ community may not be able to get the vaccine. However, those who can’t are most likely practicing safe social distancing and other social practices. 

There are a few impacts on the community regarding the findings of this study. First of all, there is an overwhelming sense of pride and community that comes with finding out that so many people in our community care so deeply for the world around them. Even even though the world does not always return the same respect. It also encourages other members of the community to get their vaccine as well – only letting our percentage of adults with the vaccine continue to rise.  

This survey not only shines a light on the respect of the LGBTQ+ community towards other people, but it also highlights the selflessness of those who have been able to get the shot so far – those who got their shot before it was even fully FDA approved as it has become now. The LGBTQ+ community is a loving community, but never has it been proven statistically as it has in this first-of-its-kind study. It should not be forgotten, however, that Covid-19 is still a major world issue and you should continue to practice social distancing, wear masks, avoid larger crowds of people, sanitize frequently, and of course getting the Covid-19 vaccination when it is available to you if you can. The only way the pandemic can end or lessen is if the whole world works together to stop the spread.

 


If you are interested in learning more about the Human Rights Campaign, the Rockefeller Foundation, and a more in-depth review of the study conducted, feel free to visit the report here: https://www.hrc.org/press-releases/hrc-foundation-survey-of-u-s-lgbtq-adults-shows-92-have-at-least-one-covid-19-shot 

The full ABC News Article regarding the FDA approval and how the United States is progressing through the pandemic can be found here:

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/americans-vaccinated-full-fda-approval-pfizer-covid-vaccine/story?id=79750505 

The current and constantly updated report by the CDC regarding vaccinations can be found here:

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations_vacc-people-onedose-pop-12yr 

The full Kaiser Family Foundation Study about blue/red county vaccinations can be found here:

https://www.kff.org/policy-watch/the-red-blue-divide-in-covid-19-vaccination-rates-is-growing/ 

Written by Abby Skye

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