In its continuing response to the hepatitis A case at the Somerville ShopRite, the Somerset County Department of Health is offering a list of potential locations where the hepatitis A vaccination may still be obtained. For details, visit http://bit.ly/HepAReferrals.
Freeholder Director Brian D. Levine reported that the county health department’s three hepatitis A vaccination clinics had provided 1,800 shots to exposed individuals as of mid-afternoon today (Nov. 8). The third clinic is closing today at 6 p.m. as scheduled.
“Throughout this incident response, public safety has been our number one priority,” Freeholder Levine said. “I want to thank our many county personnel and volunteers who have worked long hours to staff these free vaccination clinics this week. Thank you also to the members of the public for your patience and understanding.”
These clinics have provided vaccinations to individuals who may have eaten items purchased at the in-store deli/appy department or used the restrooms at the ShopRite of Somerville from Oct. 13 to 30, 2019. To be effective, the hepatitis A vaccine should be received as soon as possible, but no later than two weeks after eating food from this deli. For most people, this date would be Nov. 13, 2019. Immunocompromised persons – those with weakened immune systems – should talk with their health care provider about getting immunoglobulin or Ig instead of the vaccine.
Those individuals, including children who were exposed at ShopRite and unable to take advantage of the clinic opportunities, can visit http://bit.ly/HepAReferrals for other places in the community that may be able to offer the vaccine. Prospective patients or parents are urged to call to confirm availability, hours and any related cost. The Somerset County Department of Health’s hepatitis A hotline will be available for updates until Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 908-203-6014. Any updates also will be posted on the department website at www.co.somerset.nj.us/health
If you believe you were exposed you should:
- Monitor your health for symptoms of the hepatitis A infection, which include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea and jaundice up to 50 days after exposure.
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.
- Stay at home and contact your health care provider immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A infection develop.
If you have additional concerns about your health, contact your health care provider for recommendations.
Answers to frequently asked questions about hepatitis A are available at https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/documents/faq/hepatitis_a_faq.pdf.