New Human Rights Campaign Foundation Data: LGBTQ+ Community Continues to Have High Vaccination Rates

by Aryn Fields

Human Rights Campaign Foundation Releases New Data on LGBTQ+ Health Equity and COVID-19 in the U.S.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation released new data finding that a supermajority (79%) of LGBTQ+ adults surveyed in the United States have received a COVID-19 booster vaccination. The report, LGBTQ+ Health Equity & COVID-19: Vaccines, Boosters and Pathways to Positive Long-Term Health, developed in partnership between the HRC Foundation and Community Marketing and Insights (CMI) with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, represents the views of 1,310 respondents surveyed in February 2022 as part of an ongoing survey of LGBTQ+ adults in the United States.

“As the pandemic continues, our data shows that rates of vaccination continue to be substantially higher among LGBTQ+ community, relative to the general population. For the first time, we can also report that booster rates among LGBTQ+ people are also much higher.” said Shoshana Goldberg, PhD, HRC Director of Public Education & Research Program. “This is a welcome finding, as all too often, when we hear about LGBTQ+ health, we only hear how LGBTQ+ people fare worse than their cisgender and straight peers. Continuing to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ+ community is essential to the goal of providing equitable and informed care to LGBTQ+ people. Our newest dataset is a vital step towards understanding the community’s needs.”

Key Findings from February 2022:

When compared to data collected from the previous survey data fielded in July 2021, the findings from this data collected in February 2022 survey show that vaccination and booster rates among LGBTQ+ adults are substantially higher than that of the US general population. Though Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) LGBTQ+ individuals continue to report lower vaccination rates than that of their white LGBTQ+ peers, this gap is small, with 92% or more of each racial/ethnic group reporting being fully vaccinated. However, despite these high vaccination rates, BIPOC LGBTQ+ people remain more likely overall than white LGBTQ+ to have tested positive for COVID-19.

The top concern for LGBTQ+ people continues to center on their health and the health of their loved ones. Additional concerns include the continued economic impact of the pandemic were common, highlighting how recovery will have to address economic health as much as physical or mental health.

  • Nearly a quarter (24%) of LGBTQ+ respondents report they have tested positive for COVID-19 since February 2020, including:
  • 45% Native American;
  • 29% Latinx;
  • 29% API;
  • 28% Black;
  • 21% White.
  • Only 4% of LGBTQ+ respondents were fully unvaccinated, substantially higher than rates seen among the US adult population, approximately 25% of which is unvaccinated. Among LGBTQ+ respondents in our sample:
  • 93% are fully vaccinated, including
    • 85% received both doses of two-dose vaccine;
    • 8% received one-dose vaccine;
  • 3% are partially vaccinated, receiving the first dose of a two-dose vaccine;
  • The breakdown among unvaccinated LGBTQ+ respondents by race/ethnicity include:
  • 8% Black LGBTQ+ respondents are unvaccinated;
  • 4% Native American;
  • 4% Latinx;
  • 3% White;
  • 2% API.
  • Among the vaccinated LGBTQ+ respondents, a supermajority (79%) have received a booster shot. The remaining of vaccinated respondents break down as follows:
  • 15% planed to receive one;
  • 2% had booked an appointment to receive one;
  • 4% not planning to receive one.

While few LGBTQ+ people believe that the pandemic will end sometime in the next year, coronavirus cases have been going down, which is especially critical for BIPOC LGBTQ+ people who have disproportionately faced economic and health hardships due to the coronavirus. The decline in cases may largely be attributed to people receiving vaccinations and boosters, something the LGBTQ+ community has done in large numbers to protect their health and the health of their friends, family and loved ones.

“HRC strongly encourages LGBTQ+ people, and all people, to get vaccinated and boosted,” continued Dr. Goldberg.

The data for the present report come from the Project’s second of three waves. In March 2020, , HRC Foundation released a report detailing some of the unique health risks facing the LGBTQ+ community as the pandemic began to unfold. The first wave, conducted in July 2021, enrolled 1,688 LGBTQ+ adult participants; results of this survey are detailed in a brief released in November 2021. The second wave, the focus of this report, was conducted in February 2022, and enrolled 1,310 participants, or 78% of the original group of 1,688. A third wave will be conducted in late March and early April 2022. With respondents recruited through CMI’s proprietary LGBTQ+ research panel and through partnerships with over 100 LGBTQ+ media, events, and organizations, the survey is inclusive of diverse identities in terms of race, age, education level, and other demographic factors and produces results with large confidence due to its sample size. Because the survey is widely distributed, with little control over the response or sample, the survey data cannot be extended to the population of LGBTQ+ adults in the U.S. In addition, the nature of the survey recruitment and distribution may partially contribute to higher levels of vaccination in the sample. Results should be viewed as a market study on LGBTQ+ community members who interact with LGBTQ+ media and organizations. Read the full report here.

The Rockefeller Foundation is supporting the Human Rights Campaign Foundation on a number of Covid-19-related projects to support research and community education to reach LGBTQ+ communities of color during this crisis through The Rockefeller Foundation’s Equity-First Vaccination Initiative. Learn more here.

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