Information from Stetson Health Service regarding Hepatitis A

Florida, like other parts of the United States, is experiencing a serious hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreak. Since 2018, there have been more than 22,000 cases of HAV in the United States. In Florida, there have been more than 3,500 cases since 2018 and more than 2,900 cases since January 2019. In response, Florida’s State Surgeon General declared a Public Health Emergency.

Hepatitis A vaccination is your best protection against the virus. Most vaccinations come in two doses, given six months apart.  Two doses separated by six months are recommended; however, one dose is 93 percent effective. Information about HAV from the CDC is available here. Information specific to the Department of Health’s response and vaccination sites can be found here.  The Department of Health recommends vaccination if you:

  • Are homeless or your housing is unstable.
  • Use illicit recreational drugs—injected or not.
  • Want protection (immunity) from the virus.
  • Have adopted or care for a child who comes from a country where hepatitis A is common.
  • Are 60 or older and have a serious underlying medical condition.
  • Have chronic or long-term liver disease, including hepatitis B or C.
  • Have a clotting-factor disorder.
  • Have come into direct contact with others who have the virus.
  • Are a man who has sex with other men.
  • Have traveled to or will travel to countries where the virus is common—visit the CDC’s Traveler’s Health.

Talk to us at Stetson Health Service — ask if hepatitis A vaccine is a good option for you: 386-822-8150.