Health Department Adds Vaccination Clinic Hours as a Result of Hepatitis A Outbreak

In response to Eaton County recently becoming a hepatitis A outbreak county, the Barry-Eaton District Health Department’s (BEDHD’s) Charlotte office is adding hours during which individuals can come to get vaccinated.

BEDHD’s Charlotte office (1033 Health Care Dr.) will offer walk-in hepatitis A vaccinations Monday through Friday, 8am–5pm. In addition, the office will be open late on Wednesdays, from 8am–7pm, for walk-in hepatitis A vaccinations. Appointments for hepatitis A vaccination are NOT required.

Clinic hours for other, non–hepatitis A vaccinations will also be offered on Wednesday evenings from 5–7pm by appointment at BEDHD’s Charlotte office only. To schedule an appointment or for questions about vaccinations, individuals should call (517) 541-2630 (Eaton County) or (269) 798-4133 (Barry County).

Anyone who wants to be vaccinated against hepatitis A can get vaccinated at BEDHD. Most private insurance is accepted. Individuals who don’t have insurance or whose insurance doesn’t cover the vaccine may qualify for a low-cost vaccine if they are in a high-risk group. Individuals who don’t have insurance coverage for the vaccine and who are NOT in a high-risk group will be charged $71 per dose. High-risk groups include:

  • Men who have sex with men
  • Persons with an acute or chronic liver disease
  • Persons with a history of substance abuse
  • Persons currently homeless or in transient living
  • Persons who are or were recently incarcerated
  • Persons who are in close contact with any of the above risk groups
  • Household members and/or sexual partners of someone with hepatitis A
  • Food handlers
  • Healthcare workers with direct patient care

Eaton County has had four cases of hepatitis A since December 2017. One individual has died. Statewide, since the official start of the statewide outbreak in August 2016 through January 31, 2018, 727 individuals have had illness linked to the outbreak. This outbreak has had an unusually high hospitalization rate, with 81 percent of ill individuals being hospitalized. Twenty-four deaths have been reported.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, contagious liver disease. It is often spread by eating food or drinking water that is contaminated with infected feces or by oral contact with contaminated objects. Hepatitis A can spread easily among people who live together and sexual partners. Symptoms include fatigue, stomach pain, yellow skin (jaundice), dark urine, and pale stool. Some people have no symptoms.

People who believe they have been exposed to hepatitis A or who have symptoms should contact their healthcare provider immediately. For more information about hepatitis A, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/. For more information about the Southeast Michigan Hepatitis A outbreak, visit http://michigan.gov/hepatitisaoutbreak.

-From the Barry-Eaton District Health Department

Article posted on February 7th, 2018.