California has a plethora of issues. There are fires raging in both the north and south regions. The state is near bankrupt. Homelessness and unemployment are at all-time highs. And now, they apparently have a vaccine problem (again, please remember the Disney incident). Now the state apparently has a new vaccine problem, hepatitis A. With 18 now dead and 386 in the hospital from an outbreak that began amongst the homeless in San Diego, the state is declaring a “State of emergency” as a way to get faster, more efficient access to vaccines.
“This outbreak is different than any other we have seen in the United States in the past decade,” said Dr. Matt Zahn, medical director of epidemiology at the Orange County Health Care Agency, to ABC News. “Previously, we have seen outbreaks that are food-borne, with a direct exposure to that food source. Ongoing person-to person spread is really not something we have seen in recent years.”
“The key is to bring the vaccination directly to the communities at risk,” Zahn said. “This population is not easy to reach, so we make interventions to bring it to them. San Diego has done a marvelous job to have their staff go out to the homeless community, individual by individual, and offer the vaccine then and there.”
The state of emergency gives California/CDPH the power to now purchase the hepatitis A vaccines directly from the pharmaceutical companies.
Let’s remember a few items: most of the spread is related to drug users. And this outbreak started last year when San Diego hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and removed sanitation services for their homeless in downtown, essentially moving them to tent cities. But, downtown looked fantastic during the all-important big game! So now, there is a hepatitis A outbreak and there is a call to vaccines.