Feb. 4, 2022
Gay and lesbian adults report higher COVID-19 vaccination rates overall than heterosexual adults, according to a new study from the CDC.
In addition, gay and lesbian adults are more likely to be concerned about COVID-19 and to believe in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, the study found.
“The potential for low vaccine confidence and coverage among LGBT populations is of concern because these individuals historically experience challenges accessing, trusting, and receiving health care services,” the study authors wrote.
At the end of October 2021, about 85% of gay and lesbian adults over the age of 18 had received at least one vaccine dose, compared to 76% of heterosexual adults. The study was based on data collected from more than 150,000 respondents to the National Immunization Survey Adult COVID Module.
Vaccination coverage was the highest for adult gay and lesbian non-Hispanic white men and women, with 94% among men and 88.5% among women, followed by 82.5% among Hispanic gay men.
Across all sexual orientations and gender identities, vaccination coverage was the lowest among non-Hispanic Black LGBTQ adults, with 58% among gay or lesbian women and 62% among bisexual women. Gay, lesbian and bisexual women also had lower rates of vaccination coverage compared to gay men.
There were no significant differences in vaccination coverage based on gender identity, including those who identify as transgender or nonbinary, the CDC reported.
About 57% of gay and lesbian adults and 51% of bisexual adults said they were “very” or “moderately” concerned about COVID-19, as compared to 48% of heterosexual adults.
About 76% of gay and lesbian adults and 70% of bisexual adults said they were “completely” or “very” confident in the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, as compared to 64% of heterosexual adults.
In addition, 90% of gay and lesbian adults and 87% of bisexual adults said COVID-19 vaccines are “very” or “somewhat” important to protect themselves, as compared to 80% of heterosexual adults.
Regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, the CDC researchers recommended all Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, including booster doses.
“To prevent serious illness and death, all persons in the United States, including those in the LGBT community, should stay up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccinations,” the study authors wrote.