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COVID-19 vaccination rates are higher among gay and lesbian adults

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COVID-19 vaccination rates are higher among gay and lesbian adults in the U.S. compared to heterosexual adults, new research suggests.

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report published Thursday, just over 85 percent of lesbian or gay adults in the U.S. have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 76 percent of heterosexual adults, according to Thehill.

Gay or lesbian adults were also more likely to have confidence in the safety of vaccines, with 76 percent reporting they were either completely or very confident in vaccine safety, compared with 64 percent of heterosexual respondents. More than 90 percent of gay or lesbian adults said they believed getting vaccinated against COVID-19 was very or somewhat important, as did 87 percent of bisexual adults, according to the report.

Among gay or lesbian adults, vaccination rates were highest among men at nearly 89 percent, compared with nearly 81 percent among women.

Among all lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) adults, vaccination rates were lowest among Black LGBT people across all categories of sexual orientation and gender identity. The percentage of transgender or nonbinary adults who reported receiving more than one dose of a COVID vaccine was similar to that of cisgender adults, at nearly 76 percent and nearly 77 percent, respectively.

The CDC report is a departure from previous findings that LGBTQ+ individuals may be more hesitant to get vaccinated, though the report’s conclusion that LGBTQ+ adults have a high degree of confidence in COVID vaccines is in line with other similar surveys.

There were no “significant differences” found in vaccination rates based on gender identity, according to the report, which used data collected from more than 150,000 respondents between August and October.

The Kaiser Family Foundation in a report in August found that 82 percent of LGBT adults surveyed said they had received at least one dose of a vaccine, compared with 66 percent of non-LGBT adults. LGBT adults were also more likely to support federal vaccine mandates, according to the report.

Another CDC survey in 2021 found that 92 percent of LGBTQ respondents reported receiving one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The CDC in the 2021 report said high vaccination rates among LGBTQ people could be driven by the fact that LGBTQ individuals tend to be politically liberal, live in blue states and live in urban areas. But the CDC noted in its Thursday report that LGBT adults face an increased risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19 because of a higher prevalence of comorbidities, which could be influencing more LGBT people to get vaccinated.

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