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Nation's First LGBTQ+ and BIPOC Youth COVID-19 Vaccination Survey Reveals Disparities

By: Ysatis Rios-Sabat

As COVID-19 cases and vaccination access increases, the nation’s first LGBTQ+ and BIPOC youth-led survey reveals economic and racial disparities for members of the community.

The survey, led by Out Boulder County in partnership with El Centro AMISTAD and Unwoven Ventures, looked at COVID-19 vaccination uptake, hesitance, and resistance from LGBTQ+ and BIPOC youth. The study found that economic disadvantage impacts acceptance of the vaccine by at least 46% — with 40% of economically disadvantaged individuals ages 18-24 receiving the vaccine, in comparison to 86% of their economically resourced counterparts.

For Michal Duffy, Director of Education and Research at Out Boulder County, the data reveals the need for vaccine promotion and information.

“Studying vaccination rates as well as views, attitudes, and barriers to vaccination at these intersections of identities revealed valuable data that should inform efforts to promote vaccination,” Duffy said in the release. “The data clearly reveal that a person's socioeconomic status and identity impacts their views toward vaccination and their successful uptake of the vaccine.”

Though the disparities are great, data shows that out of the 420 respondents who met the criteria for inclusion in the survey, 20% were more likely to accept the vaccine, and 12% faced less hesitancy toward the vaccine than those who were financially resourced, citing their major barrier as minimal accessibility.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash

According to the release, the highest reported barriers were parent-related, followed by transportation and vaccine cost. Data displayed that parents not wanting their child to receive the vaccine fell at the top of the list for members of White, non-Hispanic, English as the primary household language, assigned male at birth, transgender, nonbinary, and LGBTQ respondents.

As for Race, the results showed that economically disadvantaged Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) respondents had a significantly higher vaccination rate than their economically disadvantaged White respondents. BIPOC ages 12-17 reported a 68% vaccination rate compared to 57% of their White respondent, whereas BIPOC ages 18-24, were 53% more likely to be vaccinated than their White respondents.

According to the survey's findings, in order to increase the reach of unvaccinated youth and young adults three important steps should be taken:

  • Community-based outreach and education strategies aimed at economically disadvantaged, unvaccinated youth have the potential to make substantial impacts on vaccinating acceptance and uptake numbers.

  • Accessible and accurate vaccine education for parents about the importance and benefit of vaccination for youth and young adults that also addresses common misconceptions could remove the primary barriers facing vaccine-accepting youth and young adults.

  • All education efforts should include clear and accurate information addressing commonly cited concerns in the survey data including impacts on fertility, interactions with other conditions, associated costs, and accessibility and availability of vaccines.

For more information on the data, visit OutBoulder.Org

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