Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Original research
Meningococcal vaccine uptake among men who have sex with men in response to an invasive meningococcal C disease outbreak in Melbourne, Australia
  1. Mario Martín-Sánchez1,2,
  2. Christopher K Fairley1,3,
  3. Catriona S Bradshaw1,3,
  4. Marcus Y Chen1,3,
  5. Eric P F Chow1,3
  1. 1 Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Alfred Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2 Preventive Medicine and Public Health Training Unit, PSMar-UPF-ASPB, Barcelona, Spain
  3. 3 Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Associate Professor Eric P F Chow, Central Clinical School, Monash University, Carlton, VIC 3053, Australia; eric.chow{at}


Objective In 2017, there was an outbreak of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) serogroup C among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Victoria, Australia. A government-funded free meningococcal (MenACWY) vaccination programme targeting all MSM living in Victoria was launched between December 2017 and December 2018. The aim of this study was to examine the vaccine uptake among MSM attending a sexual health clinic in Melbourne.

Methods This was a retrospective clinical audit of MSM attending the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC) during the vaccination programme. We calculated the proportion of MSM who received the meningococcal vaccine on their first visit and at any time during the programme. We performed univariable and multivariable logistic regression to identify the factors associated with the vaccine uptake on the first visit.

Results Of the 10 370 MSM who attended MSHC, 55.5% received the vaccine on their first visit and 67.4% at any time during the programme. MSM had higher odds of receiving the vaccine on the first visit if they were aged 16–25 years (adjusted OR (aOR) 1.21; 95% CI 1.08 to 1.35) or 26–35 years (aOR 1.17; 95% CI 1.07 to 1.29) in comparison with MSM older than 35 years; were HIV-negative and not on pre-exposure prophylaxis (aOR 1.80; 95% CI 1.56 to 2.09); had more than four male partners in the last 12 months (aOR 1.16; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.27); had male partners only (aOR 2.24; 95% CI 1.96 to 2.55); or were born overseas (aOR 1.11; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.21).

Conclusions Two-thirds of the MSM attending a sexual health clinic received at least one dose of meningococcal vaccine. The vaccination programme coincided temporally with a dramatic reduction in the incidence of IMD. Vaccination should be further promoted among MSM and men who have sex with both men and women.

  • vaccination
  • gay men
  • sexual behaviour
  • vaccines
View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Handling editor Joseph D Tucker

  • Twitter @EricPFChow

  • Contributors EPFC and CKF designed the study. MM-S conducted the data analysis, performed the chart review and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. All authors were involved in data interpretation, revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content and approved the final version.

  • Funding EPFC was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Fellowships (GNT1091226).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the Alfred Hospital Ethics Committee, Melbourne, Australia (242/19).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.