I have to admit that when the first COVID-19 vaccines were approved by the FDA in late 2020, I myself was skeptical. Although I worked on public health and believed strongly in vaccination to keep our community healthy, I was worried that I would put something new in my body. “What if the vaccine is dangerous?” I thought. What about long-term side effects?
I am part of the LGBTQ + community. Our history can help explain why we are hesitant.
Are LGBTQ + people more reluctant to get vaccinated?
March a New York Times Article Reported LGBTQ + people are more reluctant to get the COVID-19 vaccine. A Study study He reported various findings from the human rights campaign. LGBTQ + In general, people are more likely to be vaccinated, and certain subgroups such as LGBTQ + and bisexual women are less likely to be vaccinated.
LGBTQ + People have good reason to be hesitant about vaccines. Historically, this population has been discriminated against in many areas, including health care – and continues to do so. At the same time, this population is more vulnerable to COVID-19 (see This study And one Previous blog post I wrote). LGBTQ + as well as people of color may be more reluctant to get the COVID-19 vaccine because of injuries and oppression. Multiple fragmented isolated identities Lack of confidence in health care and medical research. Such oppression may include racism, promiscuity, homophobia, and homosexuality.
Evaluating the risks and benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine
When I tried to decide if I should get the vaccine, I started reading about these vaccines from trusted sources. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). I also talked to people I knew and trusted, such as close friends, family members, and medical staff. I asked, “Will you get the vaccine when you get it?” I told them. Everyone says “yes!” They concluded. Most share this logic: Although we do not yet know about the long-term side effects, this vaccine is similar to other vaccines that have been around for some time and the benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh the seriousness of the illness or even the risks. Death by COVID-19.
When the vaccine was presented to me earlier this year, I immediately made an appointment and did not look back. I just took the first shot and it was definitely me Complete vaccination Two weeks after the second shooting, I felt a deep sense of relief. I also felt empowered to take the necessary steps to free myself, my family, and my community from COVID-19. In my daily life I now feel more secure and free. I go into stores (wearing a mask) without feeling anxious, and without a mask I can visit in person with other full-fledged vaccines, just like my mother.
If you are struggling to decide whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine, this is Decision Grid It may be helpful (Note: Downloading) The grid walks you through the benefits and short-term and long-term risks associated with current immunizations.
Why is the vaccine important for LGBTQ + communities?
Many “epidemics” have already destroyed many LGBT + communities with HIV / AIDS, violence, and suicide. In addition, the COVID-19 outbreak has already caused irreparable damage to LGBT + people (see This study And This report) LGBTQ + seniors and people of color They are more susceptible to COVID-19, a serious and life-threatening disease. If each of us takes steps to get vaccinated, we can prevent many deaths and adverse health effects in our community.
How can you empower yourself to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
- Educate yourself What COVID-19 vaccines are, how they work and why they are safe.
- Talk to trusted professionals and people in your life about your fears.
- At this time, anyone in the United States 16 or older is eligible for the vaccine, so they can Make an appointment at your place of residence To get vaccinated.
- More information on COVID-19 and vaccines
- Ways to Avoid COVID-19 Vaccine Frauds
- What to do after vaccination