Dayton LGBT leaders, health officials address vaccine hesitancy in LGBT community

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – LGBT community leaders in Dayton are discussing the importance of getting the vaccine since the community is affected by health issues that put them at higher risk for COVID-19.

The Greater Dayton LGBT Center is making health a priority for their community.

“Not everyone seeks the care that they should, or seeks the care that they could,” Greater Dayton LGBT Center President RJ McKay said.

Thursday night, Equitas Health brought their mobile clinic to the center to screen blood pressure, glucose levels, test for HIV and talk about getting vaccinated.

“As opposed to sitting back and waiting for people to come to us, it’s really critically important that we reach out to people,” Equitas Health Director of Community Relations Jose Rodriguez said. “So tonight we have the van here, we’re going to where the people are.”

McKay said he sees many people in the center eager to get the vaccins, there’s still hesitation for some.

“I think the LGBT community is affected just like the general community is when it comes to concerns both for and against the vaccine, but really, there’s some underlying health disparities that have been shown that our folks really need to get the vaccine,” McKay said.

Health officials say the concerns they see most often are about safety and newness of the vaccine.

Dean of Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University Valerie Weber said what these vaccines are made of has been used for years.

“It was just a matter of getting the particular mixture of things to put into the vaccine, and then to do trials to make sure they were effective,” Weber said. “We were able to do that quickly because that we are in a pandemic, and there are so many cases, we were able to show that the vaccines are effective very quickly.”

McKay said he hopes that answering vaccine questions within the LGBT community will encourage more people to get the shot.

“If this helps to debunk some of the myths and get somebody to change their mind for the positive and go get the vaccine, then it’s definitely a job worth doing and a job well done,” McKay said.

The LGBT Center and Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County also held a COVID-19 forum Thursday as part of their ongoing efforts to improve health in dayton’s LGBT community.

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