CHA News Article

Governor Declares State of Emergency Over Hepatitis A Outbreak

Gov. Brown today declared a state of emergency to help control the state’s hepatitis A outbreak and increase the supply of adult hepatitis A vaccines to meet current needs. To help combat the outbreak, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has distributed nearly 80,000 doses of the vaccine, obtained through the federal vaccine program, but those supplies must be increased to continue to address the outbreak. Today’s declaration allows CDPH to immediately purchase additional vaccines directly from manufacturers and coordinate distribution to people at greatest risk in affected areas. 

The adult hepatitis A vaccine is different than the one given to children. According to CDPH, there is ample supply of the children’s vaccine. 

The current outbreak — affecting primarily Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Cruz counties — has largely impacted people experiencing homelessness and some illicit drug users. To control the outbreak and prevent further spread, CDPH recommends the vaccination of people in affected areas who are homeless or using illicit drugs, and those who have frequent, close contact with at-risk populations in affected areas. CDPH is working with impacted counties to monitor the outbreak and implement vaccination efforts, and is providing guidance on improving sanitation. 

CDPH has developed a set of frequently asked questions to address the hepatitis A outbreak, and additional information is available on the CDPH website. In addition, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has issued guidance for health care employers on employee safety in light of the outbreak.