4 other jabs to get once you’re vaccinated for COVID


vaccinated

I get it, everyone is totally over talking about COVID-19 vaccines. But did you know that there are other vaccines that LGBTQ+ people should be thinking about to stay in tip-top shape? So get those shoulders ready, get vaccinated and a nice little rainbow bandaid to put on top!

Dr Rhys Young is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and has a special interest in LGBTQ+ individual & family health. He believes in the importance of good sexual health, STI screening & prevention, including PrEP prescribing.

First, make sure you’re fully COVID vaxxed

You knew I wouldn’t let you get away with a healthy reminder to get your COVID booster! If you’ve had your first 2 shots then make sure you get your booster dose as soon as you can. If you’ve recently caught COVID from any New Year’s celebrations (you know who I’m talking about) then you can have your jab as soon as you’re feeling well again. And just a reminder: none of the COVID vaccines in Australia impact gender-affirming hormone therapy, HIV antiretroviral therapy or PrEP.

The HPV vaccine isn’t just for our hetero brothers and sisters

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the virus that causes genital warts. Don’t get me wrong, freezing off genital warts with my liquid nitrogen gun is one of my favourite activities. However, I still think it’s a great idea to consider the HPV vaccine. Most young people nowadays are getting the vaccine when starting high school. If you didn’t get it back then and have popped your cherry there’s a chance you’ve already been exposed to HPV even if you have had warts. The HPV vaccine is still a great investment for men who have sex with men as it reduces the incidence of anal cancer caused by HPV. And for the lesbians out there, you’re at as much risk for HPV as exclusively heterosexual people with vaginas.

Like a bit of anal fun? Immunise for Hep A

Hepatitis A is a nasty virus that annoys the liver. It spreads through contact with an infected person’s stool. It’s a great one to get when travelling as some countries have higher rates with untreated water. Another way that’s important for the LGBTQ+ community is any anal play. My rule of thumb is if you’re putting something in someone’s derrière then you may as well stick a Hep A vaccine in your arm!

Check your Hepatitis B immunity during an STI test

Hepatitis B is also easily vaccinated against. Recommended for men who have sex with men, it passes through the exchange of body fluids, such as semen and blood. Most people are vaccinated during childhood but for gay & bisexual men it’s important to check your immunity via a blood test. If your blood test shows you’re not immune you might need a booster shot. Just ask your doctor to add it to your next STI screening blood test!

Don’t forget about influenza!

The last two years have been bloody strange when it comes to Influenza. All of our mask-wearing and social distancing have dropped influenza rates when compared to previous years. But now that things are heading back to normal, there’s a chance we may see flu rates jump up too. And for those who tell you, ‘I always get sick from the flu shot’ tell them to check the facts. Sure, you can feel a bit off while your immune system is busy doing its thing, but it ain’t no real flu.

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