Outreach Award: Promoting Flu Vaccines for LGBT Community Members in Pennsylvania
While existing health disparities make it critical for LGBTQ people to engage in preventive care such as flu vaccinations, barriers to care including past or anticipated discrimination reduce the rate at which many LGBTQ people consume healthcare. The 2020 Pennsylvania LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment demonstrated that less than half of LGBTQ Pennsylvanians receive an annual flu shot. Though LGBTQ people were at increased risk with regards to COVID-19, other indicators including the Pennsylvania LGBTQ COVID-19 Vaccine Survey showed that LGBTQ Pennsylvanians were often less likely to know where to go to seek vaccinations and that those who identified as people of color were more likely to be hesitant due to medical mistrust. Through this project, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center would serve as a trusted messenger, partnering with public libraries and local vaccine providers to address misinformation and mistrust and to increase flu vaccination rates among LGBTQ residents of Eastern Pennsylvania. By conducting community-based outreach at public libraries, the project team would provide educational materials and address common questions and concerns in order to increase health literacy with regards to flu vaccines. By coordinating on-site flu vaccine clinics at public libraries, the project team would additionally ensure that LGBTQ community members had increased access to vaccinations from LGBTQ-affirming service providers.