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Michigan is running low on vaccines for Hepatitis A as outbreak continues

Global Panorama

The state health department has announced it’s running low on vaccines for hepatitis A.

The news comes as the state tackles an outbreak of hepatitis A centered around southeast Michigan. Since August there have been 20 deaths and 526 cases reported.

Angela Minicucci is a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. She said the outbreak is concentrated among adults.

“Individuals who are substance abusers or homeless, some in men who have sex with men, health care providers, foodcare workers, we’re seeing some of those specific populations.”

Minicucci said the state has fewer than 13-thousand vaccines remaining.

“For the adult vaccine there are two manufacturers of that vaccine in the nation and Michigan is one of a handful of states that is dealing with an outbreak right now. So there is a high demand for the vaccine at this moment.”

Minicucci said the state is focusing on getting vaccinations to high risk populations.

“We really are focusing on getting people vaccinated and we’re working really closely with the local health departments in the southeast Michigan area to prioritize those populations and make sure we’re getting people vaccinated. That being said if someone is not in those high risk groups and they want to be vaccinated we are not denying them the ability to do so.”

Minicucci said the state may not receive new vaccines until early spring.

She said the outbreak is concentrated among adults, and there are no shortage of vaccines for children.