Pennsylvania Commission On LGBTQ Affairs Addresses COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

State organizations are teaming up with medical leaders to address vaccine hesitancy for different communities. On Thursday the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs stepped up to the plate for the conversation; KDKA's Nicole Ford reports.

Video Transcript

KRISTINE SORENSEN: State organizations are teaming up with medical leaders to address vaccine hesitancy in different communities. Today the Pennsylvania commission on LGBTQ affairs stepped up to the plate for the conversation. Nicole Ford is live with the top concerns that may be preventing people who identify as LGBTQ from getting vaccinated. Nicole--

NICOLE FORD: Kristine, the big question is, what are the side effects to this vaccine? And are there any long term issues that could arise? Well, the doctors on this panel say there are some side effects that differ from person to person, with the most severe being those blood clots with the J&J vaccine.

Now, as for anything happening long term, those doctors say it's far too early to tell, since the vaccine trials only started a year ago. Now, the PA Commission on LGBTQ affairs believes side effects are the biggest aspect to the hesitancy. Other concerns include the vaccines impact on varying medications.

Will those medications be less effective after a vaccine? Well, this panel couldn't answer the specifics. They say it is always best to check with your doctor to help ease any worries. At this point, there is no data on how many LGBTQ members have gotten the vaccine, but state leaders know, historically, that this community has faced issues with access to health care.

RAFAEL ALVAREZ FEBO: It is going to get you better, but it may have a side effect. But I've determined that the side effect is less severe than you continuing being sick. And I think that that's very important for people to always have on the back of their minds when they're taking medications or vaccines.

NICOLE FORD: Doctors say it's unlikely we'll ever get to that 100% where every single person is vaccinated. And that's why some lawmakers are pushing to prohibit those vaccine passports, where you'd be required to show proof of the COVID-19 vaccination. In fact, there is a bill right now in Harrisburg that just passed the Senate. And all new at 6:00, we're going to break down what people here in Pittsburgh feel about that bill. Reporting live on the North Shore, Nicole Ford, KDKA News.