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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
March 8, 2022

Racial and Ethnic, Gender Disparities Seen in LGBT COVID-19 Vaccination Rates

JAMA. 2022;327(10):910. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.2439

Compared with heterosexual adults, a greater proportion of gay and lesbian adults reported having received at least 1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to a report on results from a nationally representative telephone survey. By race and ethnicity, however, vaccination rates were lowest among Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, particularly women.

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Health conditions that increase the risk of developing severe COVID-19 disproportionately affect LGBT adults in the US. The report’s authors noted concern because many LGBT individuals lack health coverage, report experiencing discrimination by health care providers, or other barriers to care. To learn more about COVID-19 vaccination rates among LGBT individuals, the authors analyzed data from the National Immunization Survey-Adult COVID Module, a telephone survey of about 153 000 adults conducted from August 29 through October 30, 2021.

About 85% of gay and lesbian adults reported having received at least 1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine compared with approximately 76% of both heterosexual and bisexual adults. Vaccination rates did not differ between people who are transgender or nonbinary and those who are not. More gay, lesbian, and bisexual adults reported concern about COVID-19 and confidence in vaccine safety compared with heterosexual adults.

Vaccination rates were highest among White gay men at 94.1%, White lesbian women at 88.5%, and Hispanic gay men at 82.9%. Hispanic gay and lesbian women’s vaccination rates were somewhat lower at 72.6%. About 77% of Black gay men and 79.8% of Black bisexual men had received at least 1 COVID-19 vaccine dose compared with 57.9% of Black gay or lesbian women and 62.1% of Black bisexual women.

The authors suggest that educating people about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines in Black and Hispanic communities and increasing opportunities for people to get vaccinated may help increase coverage among unvaccinated LGBT individuals.