CDC committee recommends routine hepatitis A vaccination for homeless people

An advisory committee of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ...

Posted: Oct 24, 2018 6:36 PM
Updated: Oct 24, 2018 6:36 PM

An advisory committee of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unanimously voted Wednesday to recommend the use of routine hepatitis A vaccination for all homeless people ages 1 year and older to protect them against infection. The CDC is expected to approve the committee's recommendation.

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver caused by a virus. Stomach pain, low appetite, nausea, fatigue and jaundice are common symptoms, which usually end within two months of infection. People usually get sick when they touch a door handle or surface that has been contaminated. Eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water can also cause sickness. The virus can also be spread through sexual contact or from generally poor sanitary conditions or, if they are drug users, via contaminated needles and other paraphernalia.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Communicable disease control

Diseases and disorders

Government organizations - US

Health and medical

Hepatitis

Homelessness

Liver disease

Poverty and homelessness

Public health

Social and economic status

Societal issues

Society

US Department of Health and Human Services

US federal departments and agencies

Vaccination and immunization

Continents and regions

North America

The Americas

United States

Ten states have reported more than 6,500 hepatitis A infections from January 2017 to October 2018 and homeless people made up more than 40% of the cases occurring in San Diego and Utah, according to the CDC. In Michigan, Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee, more than 10% were among homeless people. Not all states include complete information about those who are infected, the agency noted.

The more than 6,000 infections reported by the CDC led to more than 3,800 hospitalizations and an estimated 70 deaths. Sick once, you are protected for life against reinfection. Hepatitis A is also vaccine-preventable. The vaccine comes in the form of a shot, usually given in two doses.

The hepatitis A vaccine first became available in the United States in 1995 and currently there are three licensed vaccines, according to the CDC. Following that year, rates of infection declined by more than 95%. After a long downward trend, the first increase between 2012 and 2013 (1,562 and 1,781 reported cases, respectively), was due to a large multi-state outbreak. Between 2015 and 2016, the reported cases increased by 44.4% from 1,390 in 2015 to 2,007 cases in 2016. After adjusting for under-reporting, the estimated number of new infections in 2016 was 4,000 with this increase due to two outbreaks linked to imported foods.

The current hepatitis A vaccine recommendation includes these at-risk groups: travelers, men who have sex with men, users of drugs, people with clotting-factor disorders, those who work with nonhuman primates, people who anticipate a close personal contact with an international adoptee from a hepatitis A endemic country, and people with chronic liver disease. The CDC also recommended the vaccine for healthy people between the ages of 12 months and 40 years after exposure to the disease. With the new recommendation, homeless people will be included on this list.

Dr. Mona Doshani, a scientist in the division of viral hepatitis within the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention at the CDC, noted in her presentation to the advisory committee that analysis of data from the US Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System for a single year ending in 1996 showed more than 400 cases of side effects and 93 serious adverse events among 6 million doses of the hepatitis A vaccine.

On a single night, more than 553,000 people are homelessness in the United States, according to government reports. In a given year, about 3 million people or 1% of the population, are homeless. Just under two-thirds stay in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs, while a third live outside. These homelessness numbers are on the rise, according to the CDC.

Homelessness is associated with a two to three times higher odds of infection with hepatitis A and, if infected, a two to four times higher odds of severe outcomes, such as hospitalization or death, according to a not-yet-published study performed in San Diego County, site of the largest recent outbreak.

The vaccine would be dispensed at clinics where homeless people receive health care and in some states would be covered by Medicaid, according to the CDC.

West Lafayette
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 75°
Kokomo
Broken Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 68°
Rensselaer
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
Fowler
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 72°
Williamsport
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 72°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 69°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 68°
Delphi
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Monticello
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Logansport
Broken Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 68°
Active Pattern Ahead
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 73287

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15701725
Lake7496275
Elkhart480184
Allen3835163
St. Joseph342381
Hamilton2723104
Vanderburgh192213
Hendricks1871108
Cass17869
Johnson1741118
Porter129439
Clark120247
Tippecanoe118911
Madison94365
LaPorte89430
Howard88465
Kosciusko84712
Bartholomew78047
Marshall77422
Floyd77246
Monroe74630
Delaware71452
Dubois68712
Boone67246
Noble66329
Hancock64738
Vigo61910
Jackson5855
Warrick57930
LaGrange55710
Shelby54627
Grant52630
Dearborn49628
Morgan46734
Clinton4303
Henry37620
Wayne36810
White36110
Montgomery35221
Lawrence34227
Decatur33532
Harrison32723
Putnam2868
Miami2692
Scott26610
Daviess26420
Greene24634
Franklin24114
Jasper2342
DeKalb2304
Jennings22412
Gibson2214
Steuben2073
Ripley1997
Fayette1867
Carroll1852
Perry18412
Starke1777
Posey1700
Orange16924
Wabash1653
Fulton1642
Wells1622
Jefferson1602
Knox1510
Whitley1516
Washington1391
Tipton1379
Spencer1313
Huntington1223
Newton11810
Randolph1184
Clay1165
Sullivan1131
Adams962
Jay910
Owen871
Pulaski791
Rush764
Brown731
Fountain732
Blackford632
Ohio635
Benton610
Pike530
Parke511
Vermillion490
Switzerland460
Crawford440
Martin430
Union390
Warren221
Unassigned0202

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events