Human Rights Campaign Foundation Releases New Data on COVID-19 & LGBTQ+ Health Equity

by Aryn Fields

LGBTQ+ people are far more likely to have been vaccinated than the general population and more worried about the effects of the Delta variant

WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, released new data outlining the health impact of the pandemic on LGBTQ+ people, including experiences with getting vaccinated and concerns with the Delta variant.

The survey, conducted by Community Marketing & Insights and supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, found that 91% of LGBTQ+ adults surveyed were very (55%) or somewhat (36%) concerned about the Delta variant, compared to 72% of all adults in the United States. Also, despite high vaccination rates within the LGBTQ+ community, the report also shows that LGBTQ+ adults may be more likely to get COVID-19 compared to all adults in the United States, which builds on prior data from the HRC Foundation that detailed the disproportionate health risk the LGBTQ+ community faced during the pandemic.

Even though LGBTQ+ people are likely getting vaccinated at impressively high rates, the evidence suggests that the community may have also gotten COVID-19 at disproportionately higher rates and are far more concerned about the dangers of the Delta variant. The data shows what we have long known— those living at the intersections of multiple marginalized identities bear the brunt of this pandemic. We are living through a global health crisis with no clear end in sight, that is why it is crucial for every person to get vaccinated and for vaccination efforts to be inclusive of marginalized communities.

Jay Brown, Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President of Programs, Research and Training

Rare cases of blood clots forming in recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been reported, and for the first time, data has been collected about the concerns with the vaccine among people undergoing hormone replacement therapy and people taking medication for treating or preventing HIV/AIDS.

  • 93% of LGBTQ+ adults surveyed have heard something in the news about these rare cases.

  • 20% of LGBTQ+ adults surveyed undergoing hormone replacement therapy have concerns about how a COVID-19 vaccine could affect them.

  • 32% of LGBTQ+ adults surveyed are concerned that a COVID-19 vaccine will negatively interact with their medication for treating or preventing HIV, regardless of their status, compared to 39% of Black LGBTQ+ adults and 34% of Latinx LGBTQ+ adults.

The research revealed striking contrasts between LGBTQ+ respondents and the United States’ general population regarding vaccination status, concerns about the Delta variant, and having contracted COVID-19.

  • 91% of LGBTQ+ adults surveyed were very (55%) or somewhat (36%) concerned about the Delta variant, compared to 72% of all adults in the United States.

  • 91% of LGBTQ+ adults surveyed in the survey were fully vaccinated.

  • 20% of LGBTQ+ adults surveyed said they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are “pretty sure” they have had it despite not receiving an official diagnosis, compared to only 14% of all adults in the United States.

This research is crucial because it is the first-of-its-kind and it achieved such a large number of LGBTQ+ participants—that allows researchers to understand COVID-19 response differences within our community by gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and generation. The data also allows us to understand the unique concerns within our community, such as vaccine interaction concerns with HIV medications and hormone therapies.

David Paisley, Community Marketing & Insights Senior Research Director

Similar to previous analysis by HRC Foundation and the Census Bureau, the research suggests that the vast majority of LGBTQ+ adults have some trust in the development of the vaccines. However, there are still lingering concerns for some in the community.

  • 60% of LGBTQ+ adults said they have a great deal of confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines, compared to 42% of Black LGBTQ+ adults and 53% of Latinx LGBTQ+ adults, which is far higher than reported by all adults (33%) in the United States.

  • 6% of LGBTQ+ adults said they had no intention of getting the vaccine.

  • Many LGBTQ+ people may not have fully accurate identity documents, which could hinder vaccine access—68% of LGBTQ+ adults said they had to show a government-issued I.D. to get vaccinated and 40% of transgender adults did not have their correct name on all of their documents.

The new data is the newest research in a long line of HRC’s previously released reports, “The Lives and Livelihoods of Many in the LGBTQ Community are at Risk Amidst COVID-19 Crisis” and “The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ Community,” published in March and April. In June, HRC released “The Impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQ Communities of Color,” which documented the heightened risk of LGBTQ people of color in facing negative economic consequences from the pandemic, and “The Economic Impact of COVID-19 Intensifies for Transgender and LGBTQ Communities of Color,” which showed that transgender people, especially transgender people of color, are more likely to face negative economic consequences as a result of the virus.

The Human Rights Campaign reports on news, events and resources of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that are of interest to the general public and further our common mission to support the LGBTQ+ community.

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