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Survey from Boulder nonprofit reveals vaccine concerns in LGBTQ+ community

Boulder Community Health and other organizations addressed these concerns during a town hall and said the COVID-19 vaccine is safe regardless of HIV status.

BOULDER, Colo. — Survey results from Out Boulder County found 17% of respondents who identified as LGBTQ+ were hesitant to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 9% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents. 

According to a press release, "several survey respondents noted the dearth of information about how the vaccine might affect those with HIV."

Boulder Community Health partnered with other LGBTQ+ organizations to host a town hall last week to address the concerns found in the survey. 

"When we received the survey results that Out Boulder County did, it was an eye-opener for us," said Sarah Wise, a registered nurse with Boulder Community Health. "Understanding how this community is impacted is a real blind spot for all of us and to have a little bit of insight into what the hesitancy was a gold mine."

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During the town hall, health officials stated all three vaccines approved for emergency use authorization are safe for people regardless of their HIV status, or whether they receive pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). 

Mardi Moore, executive director of Out Boulder County, said she believes the LGBTQ+ community needs to be better represented in public health efforts because information about sexual orientation and gender identity is rarely collected in health data. 

"If we’re not seeing it in the data, there’s no problem, right? We’re invisible and so that has to change," Moore said. 

RELATED: Colorado's underserved communities playing 'catch up' in vaccine distribution

While the nonprofit continues to advocate for better representation, they said they are committed to connecting the LGBTQ+ community to resources. 

One of those resources is a website that serves as an LGBTQ+ health directory. 

"Our community has to continue to search out great doctors who see us in our whole selves," Moore said. "We have some of those in the state, but there's not enough of those."

Out Boulder County has also held two vaccination clinics, with more scheduled throughout the month of April. Moore said it's a unique clinic in the state because their waiting list is now filling up with people from Aurora and Denver. 

You can sign up for their waitlist here

RELATED: Vaccine guide: What to know about getting the COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado, and what happens next

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