WOONSOCKET, R.I. — MinuteClinic, the retail medical clinic of CVS Health, is encouraging unvaccinated Ohio residents to receive the hepatitis A vaccine following an increase in confirmed cases of the virus. According to the Ohio Department of Health, more than 80 hepatitis A cases have been confirmed across the state since the start of 2018. To date, Montgomery, Lawrence and Lucas Counties have had the highest number of confirmed cases.
Hepatitis A vaccine may provide protection against the disease if given within two weeks after exposure. People who have had Hepatitis A disease or previously received two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine do not need to be immunized for hepatitis A again. Symptoms of hepatitis A infection usually appear two to six weeks after exposure and include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes.
MinuteClinic providers can provide the hepatitis A vaccine to children 24 months and older and to adults. It is administered in one primary dose and a second booster dose, usually administered six months later. Vaccine supplies will be replenished at MinuteClinic locations as needed. Patients should check with their insurance plans for coverage details prior to their MinuteClinic visit.
While vaccination provides the best protection from hepatitis A, frequent hand-washing with soap and water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing food can help prevent the spread of the illness. Appropriately cooking foods can also help to prevent infection.