Many in Fort Collins rush to get meningitis vaccines in wake of deaths

After Lisa Krizman of Loveland lost her daughter, Sierra, to meningitis in 2007, she started a foundation to bolster awareness of the disease and raise money for vaccination clinics.

Now that Fort Collins Adult Hockey Association players Brian Wormus and Nick Smith have died of invasive meningococcal disease, Krizman is fast-tracking a meningitis vaccination clinic she’s trying to schedule for July.

“If you wait until you do get [meningitis], the chances of you living aren’t good,” she said. “Sierra, when we took her to the doctor, they had no clue what she had until after she was gone.”

The meningitis vaccine, Krizman said, is a $125 insurance policy against the disease, which is spread by saliva and other nose and throat secretions.

Since Wormus died June 14, Krizman said she has received more than 50 calls from people looking to get the vaccine, which her foundation will pay for.

But even though there have been two deaths from the disease in Fort Collins and two others remain hospitalized, the situation isn’t so dire that everyone should rush out to get vaccinated, said Adrienne LeBailly, director of the Larimer County Department of Public Health and Environment.

“Individuals don’t need to do anything immediately for the most part,” she said. “We’ve already treated close contacts (of the affected hockey players) with antibiotics. People need to think at some point whether it’s worth the approximately $125 to be vaccinated versus the extremely low risk that they’ll ever get it.”

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About the author


Jeffry John Aufderheide is the father of a child injured as a result of vaccination. As editor of the website he promotes well-educated pediatricians, informed consent, and full disclosure and accountability of adverse reactions to vaccines.