Getting The Meningitis Vaccine Wasn't Easy

Categories: Advice

With the warnings out about how every active gay man in NYC should get the meningitis vaccine, I assumed it would be a breeze to make this happen for myself.

But my doctor didn't even have the vaccine for people my age. He had to call it into a pharmaceutical chain and wait for them to get it, since they didn't have it in stock either. But when I called them, they said it wouldn't be covered.

I called my insurance, who recommended another pharmaceutical chain, where it would be covered. But that chain then told my doctor that this vaccine has to be injected on the premises in a pharmacy--because it can't be unrefrigerated--and I'd have to go to a place with a doctor on the premises. And they don't have a doctor there!

So I went back to the first chain, where they do have such a doctor, but they said it's actually against the law for a pharmacy in New York state to administer a vaccine. They told me to go back to the original plan of getting the stuff and taking it to my doctor.

Can you believe this?

So I ordered it from them, and when it arrived, I took it to my doctor--very quickly--and got the injection. I was worn out from the whole rigamarole, but can you imagine what this process would be like for poor people or folks who don't speak English well?

When a citywide emergency edict ges out, things should be a little easier to facilitate, no?

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Yes, I agree! Your story is much worse than mine. How horrible. I went to my doctor and he didn't have the vaccine. I then went to the Chelsea Clinic during clinic hours and they told me to come back tomorrow during non-clinic hours. They said, "People line up early.before clinic hours." Calen-Lorde turned me down too. I felt so rejected that I went to therapy.


Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm sorry to hear you encountered a frustrating situation when trying to protect yourself from this deadly disease. Healthcare providers need to work on making preventive medicine easily available to the public.