Yes, Vaccination Works: The NYC Meningitis Edition

Or we could just think happy thoughts:

A bacterial meningitis outbreak among gay and bisexual men in New York City that had raised fears of a new AIDS-type epidemic has subsided after an aggressive vaccination campaign, leaving city health officials cautiously optimistic that it has been contained…

“We think that because we’ve had no cases in six months, we have to conclude that enough of the population has been vaccinated to provide protection at least for now,” Dr. Jay K. Varma, the city’s deputy commissioner of disease control, said this week. “Whether or not this provides protection for several years is something that we’ll have to see.”

At least 16,000 people have been vaccinated; an estimated 30,000 to 100,000 were believed to be at risk. Dr. Varma said the number of vaccinations was probably higher, but doctors are not required to report having given the vaccine, and the data come mainly from large medical practices and organizations like the Gay Men’s Health Crisis…

But one of the most successful vaccination campaigns was carried out by Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, a gay activist and now medical director of H.I.V. services at Mount Sinai Hospital, who gave free shots at bathhouses, after-hours sex clubs and private parties.

The LGBT community typically understands vaccination because of the devastating effect infectious disease has had on their friends and loved ones. I just hope it doesn’t take a lot of dead and crippled children for the antivaxxers to be ignored.

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