Amid a growing outbreak of meningitis disease, the City Council’s LGBT Caucus is joining with the Chicago Department of Public Health to call on gay and bisexual men to get vaccinated. Vaccinations will be available at pride festivities to help community members protect themselves and others.
Individuals who are at risk should talk to their health care provider about vaccination. Men who have sex with men (MSM) should get a booster shot if they received the meningococcal vaccine more than five years ago. If you do not have a health care provider, talk to a pharmacist or call 311 to find a Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) clinic where the vaccine is available at no cost or a partner clinic where copays may apply.
For a list of sites where you can get the vaccine in the city, click here.
Although African American MSM have been disproportionately affected by this outbreak, CDPH has expanded the recommendation to protect all at-risk individuals.
Meningitis can cause symptoms including fever, headache, and a stiff neck. Some people may experience nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and altered mental status or confusion. If you experience these symptoms, please consult a medical provider immediately. The disease spreads through prolonged, close contact with saliva that can include intimate kissing, sexual contact, sharing drinks or sharing marijuana and cigarettes.
Please visit the CDPH website for more information on meningitis.