A study has found that COVID-19 vaccine rates in the United States are higher among gay and lesbian adults than in heterosexual adults.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that lesbians and gay men aged 18 and older reported higher levels of vaccine coverage (85.4 per cent) than their straight counterpoints (76.3 per cent).
It was found that bisexual (76.3 per cent) and transgender adults (75.7 per cent) had similar COVID-19 vaccine rates to heterosexual people.
The study authors explained that the data could help to “increase vaccination coverage”.
The authors said: “Understanding COVID-19 vaccination coverage and confidence among LGBT+ populations, and identifying the conditions under which disparities exist, can help tailor local efforts to increase vaccination coverage.
“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 LGBT+ population.”
According to CDC researchers, people within the LGBT+ community “have higher prevalences of health conditions associated with severe COVID-19 illness compared with non-LGBT populations”, for example obesity, smoking, and asthma.
A previous study explained: “Because of their sexual orientation, sexual minority persons experience stigmatisation and discrimination that can increase vulnerabilities to illness…
“Persons who are members of both sexual minority and racial/ethnic minority groups might therefore experience a convergence of distinct social, economic, and environmental disadvantages that increase chronic disease disparities and the risk for adverse COVID-19–related outcomes.”
In India, a 16-year-old girl made it her mission to raise money to vaccinate vulnerable transgender people in her area.
Sia Sehgal, a student at a private international school outside Mumbai, raised 200,000 rupees (£1,933) for the Maharashtra District AIDS Control Society (MDACS) to buy COVID-19 vaccines.
MDACS administered 120 first doses to trans people during a free vaccination drive in July last year.
Varshabhai Dhokalia, a trans woman, told the Hindustan Times after receiving the free vaccine: “We are always being mocked. While I was standing in the queue for the shot, people were staring and laughing at me. Someone even passed a comment that the vaccination was only for males and females.
“This discourages us from going to these centres for vaccination.”
Sehgal raised the money for the 120 first COVID-19 vaccine doses in two weeks, and planned to raise more funds so that the people who had their first vaccine could have their second.