So far about 54 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and of those nearly 28 million have been fully vaccinated. At Callen-Lorde and other medical centers that treat many L.G.B.T.Q. patients, health care workers say they have seen a higher demand for the vaccine among white patients compared to patients of color.
L.G.B.T. people of color were twice as likely as white non-L.G.B.T. people to test positive for Covid-19, according to a Williams Institute study published in February. Even though Black people are more at risk for contracting the disease, concerns about the vaccine are especially prevalent among this population, experts say. In a study published this month in the journal Vaccines, 1,350 men and transgender women who predominantly identified as gay or bisexual reported how likely they would be to get a Covid‐19 vaccine. The Black participants expressed significantly more vaccine hesitancy than their white peers, the study found.
Health care workers are encountering the same resistance in their patients. “Some people just literally said, ‘Well, no — Trump was involved in getting this vaccine going so I’m not going to get the vaccine,’” said Jill Crank, a nurse practitioner at Johns Hopkins Community Physicians in Baltimore.
Studies show that hesitancy about the Covid vaccine occurs across all demographic groups, including those in the medical profession. About three in 10 health care workers are hesitant about getting the vaccine, according to a survey published in December by K.F.F. (previously the Kaiser Family Foundation) 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 although he is currently eligible to get the vaccine, he doesn’t want it.
“Right now it’s a no-go,” said Mr. Gauthier, a model and business owner who has Covid-19 antibodies because he contracted the coronavirus last year. The vaccine’s development moved “so rapidly and so quickly, it just has me a little bit hesitant,” he said, adding that he’s also unsure about the vaccine’s ingredients. “There’s a fear in the community.”
For members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community, and especially people of color, the hesitancy stems, in part, from pre-existing mistrust in the medical establishment, the experts said.