Since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began tracking the national hepatitis A outbreak in 2016, nearly 30,000 cases have been reported across the United States. As the outbreak continues to spread – primarily through person-to-person contact – the CDC is urging everyone to ensure that they and their children are up-to-date on their hepatitis A vaccinations.
Here is What the CDC Wants You to Know about the Hepatitis A Outbreak
1. “The hepatitis A vaccine is the best way to prevent [hepatitis A virus (HAV)] infection.”
According to the CDC’s data, the hepatitis A vaccine, “provides up to 95% seroprotection in healthy individuals for up to 11 years.” If you are not sure when you last received the hepatitis A vaccine, you do not have to wait to get vaccinated again.
2. “Hepatitis A vaccines should only be administered in age-appropriate doses.”
The two hepatitis A vaccines currently approved for use in the United States are VAQTA® and HAVRIX®. According to the CDC, the appropriate doses for each hepatitis A vaccine are as follows:
- VAQTA® – “Persons aged 12 months–18 years should receive 25 U per dose in a 2-dose schedule; persons aged >18 years should receive 50 U per dose in a 2-dose schedule.”
- HAVRIX® – “[F]or persons aged 12 months–18 years, 720 EL.U. per dose in a 2-dose schedule; and for persons aged >18 years, 1,440 EL.U. per dose in a 2-dose schedule.”
3. “CDC is requesting your assistance to help control the hepatitis A outbreak by vaccinating populations at risk.”
Individuals in certain populations are at increased risk for contracting hepatitis A, and the CDC is particularly emphasizing the importance of vaccination for teens and adults in these at-risk populations. Individuals in these populations include:
- “People who use drugs (injection or noninjection);
- “People experiencing an unstable housing situation or homelessness;
- “Men who have sex with men (MSM);
- “People who are or were recently incarcerated; [and,]
- “People with chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C.”
Health Risks Linked to the Hepatitis A Vaccine
The hepatitis A vaccine is generally considered safe for most people, though the CDC recommends that individuals with certain severe allergies and those who are not feeling well consult with their physicians prior to getting vaccinated. However, like all vaccinations, getting vaccinated against HAV carries certain risks. Some of these risks include:
- Shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration (SIRVA)
- Anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction)
- Vasovagal syncope (a sudden drop in heart rate and blood pressure that can lead to fainting)
Speak with a Vaccine Attorney about Your Legal Rights Under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)
For hepatitis A vaccine recipients and parents of children who have been vaccinated against hepatitis A and subsequently diagnosed with SIRVA, anaphylaxis or vasovagal syncope, financial compensation may be available through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). To learn more about your legal rights under the VICP from national vaccine attorney Leah V. Durant, please call 202-800-1711 or request a free initial consultation online today.
Leah Durant Bio
Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.