I’ve a confession: in late 2020, when the primary COVID-19 vaccines have been authorised by the FDA, I hesitated to get one your self. Though I labored within the public well being subject and believed strongly in vaccines to maintain our neighborhood wholesome, I used to be involved about bringing one thing into my physique that appeared so new. I believed, "What if the vaccine is harmful?" "What about long-term unwanted effects?"
I’m a part of the LGBTQ + neighborhood. Our story can clarify why I hesitated.
Are LGBTQ + folks extra reluctant to obtain the vaccine?
In March, a New York Occasions article reported that LGBTQ + folks have been extra reluctant to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine. A analysis research by the human rights marketing campaign reported blended outcomes: whereas LGBTQ + folks total usually tend to be vaccinated, sure subsets, reminiscent of shade LGBTQ + folks and bisexual girls, are much less prone to be vaccinated.
LGBTQ + folks have good motive to be hesitant about vaccines. Up to now, this inhabitants has been and has been discriminated towards in varied conditions, together with within the healthcare sector. On the similar time, this inhabitants is extra susceptible to COVID-19 (see this research and an earlier weblog submit I wrote). LGBTQ + people who’re additionally folks of shade 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 kind the idea of suspicion in healthcare and medical analysis . We are able to depend racism, transphobia, biphobia, and homophobia amongst such oppressions.
Weighing the Dangers and Advantages of the COVID-19 Vaccine
When making an attempt to resolve whether or not to get the vaccine, I began studying in regards to the vaccine from trusted sources such because the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC). I've additionally spoken to folks I do know and belief, reminiscent of shut pals, relations, and fellow docs. I requested her, "Will you get the vaccine in case you are supplied it?" Everybody gave me a convincing "Sure!" Most shared this rationale: Whereas we nonetheless don't learn about long-term unwanted effects, this vaccine is much like different vaccines which were round for some time, and the advantages of vaccination far outweigh the chance of getting severely ailing and even dying from COVID -19.
Once I was supplied the vaccine earlier this 12 months, I instantly booked my appointment with out hesitation and didn't look again. As quickly as I received 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 neighborhood from COVID-19. I now really feel safer and free in my day by day life. I’m going to shops (sporting a masks) with out feeling anxious and I’ve been capable of personally go to different totally vaccinated folks like my mom and not using a masks.
When you have difficulties deciding which COVID-19 vaccine to make use of, this determination grid may be useful (notice: auto-download). 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 at the moment accessible.
Why the vaccine is crucial for LGBTQ + communities
Quite a few “pandemics” have already worn out a lot of the LGBTQ + neighborhood: HIV / AIDS, violence, suicide. As well as, the COVID-19 pandemic has already triggered disproportionate injury to LGBTQ + folks (see this research and this report). LGBTQ + seniors and other people of shade are on the biggest danger of significant, doubtlessly life-threatening sickness from COVID-19. If every of us takes steps to get vaccinated, we are able to forestall extra deaths and unfavourable 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 consultants and other people in your life about your fears.
- Presently, anybody within the US who’s 16 years of age or older is eligible for the vaccine, so you’ll be able to schedule an appointment to reside to get vaccinated.
- Additional data on COVID-19 and vaccines:
- Fenway Well being's COVID-19 Assets
- CDC COVID-19 data
- Methods to Keep away from COVID-19 Vaccine Fraud
- What you are able to do after the vaccination
The Submit-COVID-19 Vaccines and the LGBTQ + Group first appeared on the Harvard Well being Weblog.