Gay and lesbian adults in the U.S. have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine at a higher rate than their straight counterparts, according to data released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
According to the report, which collected data from more than 150,000 respondents, gay men and lesbians over the age of 18 were vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination at a rate of 85.4 percent compared to 76.3 percent of their heterosexual counterparts. Of gay men and lesbians, the former were more likely to be vaccinated, with 89 percent of gay men having the vaccine compared to 81 percent of lesbians.
This higher rate reflects more confidence in the vaccines, as 76 percent of gay and lesbian adults stated they were either completely or very confident in the vaccine’s effectiveness, compared with 64 percent of straight respondents. 87 percent of bisexual adults believed getting the vaccine was somewhat or very important, compared to 90 percent of gay men and lesbians.
When broken down by gender identity, the data revealed “no significant differences” in vaccination rates.
Across the board, Black individuals were less likely to have been vaccinated than white individuals – particularly among gay men and lesbians. Whereas 91.7 percent of white gay men and lesbian had been vaccinated, 66.8 percent of Black gay men and lesbians had. According to a study on racial disparities in COVID-19 vaccination, this disparity is not due to “vaccine hesitancy” but instead factors like socioeconomic background and political ideology. This aligns with the CDC’s data: 74.3 percent of gay men and lesbians living below the poverty line had received the vaccine compared to 94.3 percent of those making more than $75,000 a year.
“Understanding COVID-19 vaccination coverage and confidence among LGBTQ populations, and identifying the conditions under which these disparities exist, can help tailor local efforts to increase vaccination coverage,” the study authors wrote. “Adding sexual orientation and gender identity to national data collection systems would be a major step toward monitoring disparities and developing a better-informed public health strategy to achieve health equity for the LGBTQ population.”