To date, around 54 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, of which nearly 28 million have been fully vaccinated. At Callen-Lorde and other medical centers that treat many LGBTQ patients, health care workers have reported higher demand for the vaccine in white patients than in those with skin color.
According to a study by the Williams Institute published in February, LGBT people of color were twice as likely to test positive for Covid-19 as non-LGBT white people. Although blacks are at higher risk of contracting the disease, experts say that this population is particularly concerned about the vaccine. In a study published this month in Vaccines magazine, 1,350 men and transgender women who were predominantly identified as gay or bisexual reported the likelihood of receiving a Covid-19 vaccine. The black participants expressed significantly more vaccine reluctance than their white counterparts, according to the study.
Healthcare workers face the same resistance from their patients. “Some people just said literally, ‘Well, no – Trump was involved in getting this vaccine going, so I’m not going to get the vaccine,” said Jill Crank, a nurse at Johns Hopkins Community Physicians in Baltimore.
Studies show that there are concerns about the Covid vaccine among all population groups, including those in the medical profession. According to a survey published in December by KFF (formerly Kaiser Family Foundation), about three in ten healthcare workers are reluctant to get the vaccine, compared to about a quarter of the general population.
Dezjorn Gauthier, 29, a black transgender man who lives about 20 minutes from Milwaukee, said that while he can’t get the vaccine, he doesn’t want it.
“It’s a no-go at the moment,” said Gauthier, a model and business owner who has Covid-19 antibodies because he contracted the coronavirus last year. The vaccine has been developing “so fast and so fast that I am just a little hesitant,” he said, adding that he was also unsure of the vaccine’s ingredients. “There is a fear in the church.”
March 6, 2021, 4:46 p.m. ET
For members of the LGBTQ community, and especially for people of color, the hesitation is partly due to the already existing distrust of the medical facility, according to the experts.