CDC Survey Highlights LGBTQ Vaccination Numbers

FILE PHOTO: SOMOS Community Care administers Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at pop-up site in New York
The CDC’s survey on vaccination numbers features breakdowns by race, sexual orientation, gender identity, region, and other factors.
REUTERS/Mike Segar

Vaccination rates for transgender, non-binary, and bisexual people are aligned with the general population, but more gay and lesbian individuals have been vaccinated against COVID-19 than heterosexual folks, according to new survey results released by the CDC.

The new research, which encompassed a range of demographic factors and included answers from 153,062 respondents between August 29 and October 30 of last year, revealed that 85.4 percent of gay and lesbian respondents said they had at least one dose, while 83.1 percent said they were “fully vaccinated” — which was defined in this study as having at least two shots.

Those numbers dipped for bisexual people, as 76.3 percent reported at least one shot and 72.6 percent said they had a minimum of two shots.

Among straight people, 76.3 percent said they had at least one shot and 73.5 percent said they were fully vaxxed.

Meanwhile, 74 percent of people who did not identify as trans or non-binary said they were fully vaccinated, while 71.4 percent of trans or non-binary respondents said the same.

There were differences when the numbers were broken down by gender and race/ethnicity, though those numbers were somewhat incomplete. The sexual orientation category was confined to straight, gay/lesbian, bisexual, or “something else,” and the race/ethnicity category featured white, Black, and Hispanic, but all others were lumped into the category of “other/non-hispanic.”

While straight women outpaced straight men by five percent among those who had at least one shot, the opposite was true for gay and bisexual people. Eighty-nine percent of gay men had one jab compared to 80.5 percent of lesbian women. Eighty-two percent of bi men had one shot and 74 percent of bi women said the same.

While less than 60 percent of Black lesbian women had surpassed the one-shot mark, 94 percent of white men received at least one dose. Among Hispanic individuals, gay men reported the best numbers — 83 percent had at least one dose — compared to 81 percent for straight women, 73 percent for lesbian women, and 80 percent for bisexual women.

Seventy-six percent of straight Black women said they were vaccinated — far higher than the 62 percent of bisexual Black women who had one shot and 58 percent of lesbian women who had one jab.

Transgender and non-binary folks saw the greatest vaccination rates among Hispanic people, as 78 percent were vaccinated, followed by 77.5 percent of white people, 75 percent of other/non-hispanic people, and 69 percent of Black people.

A whopping 95 percent of gay men surveyed in the northeast had at least one dose, which was comparable to the west coast, where 92.5 percent of gay men had at least one dose. More lesbian women reported getting vaccinated in the west (91 percent) than the northeast (78 percent). Among trans individuals, 84 percent in the northeast reported at least one dose, followed by the west (79.3 percent), the midwest (73.5 percent) and the south (71.2 percent).

In the midwest, 82.5 percent of bi men and 68 percent of bi women were vaccinated.

Respondents were also asked about their confidence in vaccine safety and some of those answers were in line with some of the gender-based differences seen in vaccination rates. Eighty-two percent of gay men and 76 percent of bisexual men felt confident in vaccine safety, but just 67 percent of lesbian women and 68 percent of bisexual women said they were confident. There was little difference between straight men and women — 64.1 percent of men expressed confidence along with 64.6 percent of women.

A recent Colorado-based survey evaluating vaccination rates among people between the ages of 12 and 24 found that 83 percent of trans people said they were vaccinated compared to 67 percent of cisgender people. Seventy-seven percent of LGBTQ respodents were vaccinated, which was at least 12 percent higher than the non-LGBTQ population.