I’ve a confession: when the primary COVID-19 vaccines had been authorised by the FDA in late 2020, I used to be reluctant to get one myself. Though I labored within the public well being discipline and believed strongly in vaccines to maintain our group wholesome, I used to be involved about bringing one thing into my physique that appeared so new. I assumed, “What if the vaccine is harmful?” “What about long-term uncomfortable side effects?”

I’m a part of the LGBTQ + group. Our story may clarify why I hesitated.

Are LGBTQ + individuals extra reluctant to get the vaccine?

In March a New York Instances One article reported that LGBTQ + individuals had been extra reluctant to get the COVID-19 vaccine. A analysis research carried out by the human rights marketing campaign reported combined outcomes: whereas LGBTQ + individuals general usually tend to be vaccinated, sure subgroups akin to colour LGBTQ + individuals and bisexual girls are much less more likely to be vaccinated.

LGBTQ + individuals have good purpose to hesitate about vaccines. Up to now this inhabitants has been and has been discriminated in opposition to in varied conditions, together with within the well being sector. On the identical time, this inhabitants is extra susceptible to COVID-19 (see this research and an earlier weblog put up I wrote). LGBTQ + people who’re additionally individuals of colour could also be much more reluctant to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine as trauma and oppression come from a number of overlapping marginalized identities that type the idea of suspicion in healthcare and medical analysis . We will depend racism, transphobia, biphobia, and homophobia amongst such oppressions.

Weighing the Dangers and Advantages of the COVID-19 Vaccine

When making an attempt to determine whether or not to get the vaccine, I began studying concerning the vaccine from trusted sources such because the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC). I’ve additionally spoken to individuals I do know and belief, akin to shut pals, relations, and fellow docs. I requested her, “Will you get the vaccine in case you are provided it?” Everybody gave me a powerful “Sure!” Most shared this rationale: Whereas we nonetheless do not find out about long-term uncomfortable side effects, this vaccine is just like different vaccines which have been round for some time, and the advantages of vaccination far outweigh the danger of getting significantly sick and even contracting COVID- 19 die.

After I was provided the vaccine earlier this yr, I instantly booked my appointment with out hesitation and did not look again. As quickly as I acquired the primary shot and was totally vaccinated two weeks after my second shot, I felt profoundly relieved. I additionally felt empowered to take an necessary step to guard myself, my household, and my group from COVID-19. I now really feel safer and free in my every day life. I am going to shops (sporting a masks) with out feeling anxious and I’ve been capable of personally go to different totally vaccinated individuals like my mom and not using a masks.

You probably have issue deciding on the COVID-19 vaccine, this choice grid will be useful (word: computerized obtain). The grid walks you thru the advantages in addition to the brief time period and long run dangers of not receiving the vaccine in comparison with the vaccines presently obtainable.

Why the vaccine is vital to LGBTQ + communities

Quite a few “pandemics” have already worn out giant numbers of the LGBTQ + group: HIV / AIDS, violence, suicide. As well as, the COVID-19 pandemic has already triggered disproportionate harm to LGBTQ + individuals (see this research and this report). LGBTQ + seniors and other people of colour are on the biggest danger of significant, doubtlessly life-threatening sickness from COVID-19. If every of us takes steps to get vaccinated, we will stop extra deaths and detrimental well being outcomes in our communities.

How are you going to empower your self to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine?

  • Discover out what COVID-19 vaccines are, how they work, and why they’re secure.
  • Speak to trusted specialists and other people in your life about your fears.
  • At present, anybody within the US who’s 16 years or older is eligible for the vaccine, so you’ll be able to schedule an appointment to stay to get vaccinated.

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