City to Host Free Hepatitis A Vaccination Clinic for People who are Homeless
The City of West Hollywood is getting the word out that the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (L.A. County Public Health) and AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will organize a mobile hepatitis A vaccination clinic on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the south parking lot of Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard.
Flu vaccinations will also be provided. The target population for the effort is people who are experiencing homelessness and may not have access to preventive care.
L.A. County Public Health has declared an outbreak of hepatitis A in Los Angeles County. While a majority of cases have occurred in persons who are homeless and/or use illicit drugs, with several cases also occurring among people who provide services to homeless populations, an increased number of cases of hepatitis A is occurring in Los Angeles County among men who have sex with men (MSM).
Hepatitis A causes acute liver disease, which may be severe. It can be transmitted by touching objects or eating food that someone with hepatitis A has handled, having sex or close contact with someone who has a hepatitis A infection, consuming food or drinks that are contaminated by the virus, or sharing needles, pipes or other items when using drugs.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hepatitis A is a liver infection that is usually transmitted person-to-person via the “fecal-oral route,” or ingesting something that has been contaminated with the feces of an infected person. The virus can also be transmitted through contaminated food or water. Given the deplorable conditions of living on the street and the lack of access to restrooms and sanitary stations, homeless populations are often the most at risk for a hepatitis A outbreak.
The hepatitis A vaccine is safe and effective, and even a single dose is highly effective in adults.
The vaccine is 95% effective after the first dose and the second vaccination (recommended) is almost 100% effective.
For more information about risk factors and preventing the spread of hepatitis A, please visit the L.A. County Public Health website: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/hepa/index.htm.
Flu vaccines are recommended for everyone six months of age and older, including healthy adults. Those with severe egg allergies or who are sick during the day of the clinic should check with their doctor before getting vaccinated.
For more information about preventing the flu, please visit: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/Flu.htm.
The City’s West Hollywood Homeless Initiative seeks to effectively address homelessness with a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, collaborative response. If you are concerned about a community member who is homeless, call the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative Concern Line at (323) 848-6590.
If your concern requires time-sensitive assistance during nights or weekends, please call the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station at (310) 855-8850. For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/homeless.
In collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, AHF will offer vaccines every other Thursday through its mobile testing vans that will make stops among clusters of homeless communities.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 821,000 individuals in 38 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.