Gay and lesbian adults report higher vaccination rates overall against COVID-19 than heterosexual adults, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in a new study.
Data collected from the National Immunization Survey Adult COVID Module showed 85.4% of gay and lesbian adults over the age of 18 had received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine compared to 76.3% by heterosexual adults.
“The potential for low vaccine confidence and coverage among LGBT populations is of concern because these persons historically experience challenges accessing, trusting, and receiving health care services,” the study said.
Vaccination coverage was the highest for adult gay and lesbian white non-Hispanic men and women at 94.1% for men and 88.5% for women.
Across all sexual orientation categories, vaccination coverage was the lowest among non-Hispanic Black LGBTQ adults. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual women also had lower rates of vaccination coverage compared to men.
According to the study, people who identify as LGBTQ are at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness due to a higher prevalence of comorbidities.
Heart disease, certain cancers, and HIV or AIDS are some comorbidities LGBTQ people are at a higher risk for, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The data collected from Aug. 29 to Oct. 30, 2021, showed that more LGBTQ adults were very or moderately concerned about COVID-19 at 56.8% and 51.3%, respectively, compared to heterosexual adults at 48.1%.
Additionally, gay, lesbian, and bisexual adults had higher percentages of believing a COVID-19 vaccine was important at 90.8% and 86.8% respectively than heterosexual adults at 80.4%.
Regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, the CDC said it’s important for all U.S. residents to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations.