ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A Charlottesville-Albemarle health clinic is urging food service workers to get vaccinated for Hepatitis A after several outbreaks in neighboring states.

Starting on Friday, April 19 the Thomas Jefferson Health District will provide free vaccines on a completely walk-in basis. Hepatitis A is a highly contagious disease that attacks the liver. It's usually spread through contact with an infected individual.

"When you think of food handlers, you think of preparing food and you're ingesting the food and perhaps maybe they missed. Maybe they went to the restroom and didn't wash their hands as adequately and you can get it that way,” said Nurse Nancy Santoski.

Free vaccines will take place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the third Friday of every month. For now, the general public must pay for vaccines but are welcome to stop into the Thomas Jefferson Health District.


Thomas Jefferson Health District Press Release:

(Charlottesville, Va.) – The Thomas Jefferson Health District’s (TJHD) Charlottesville/Albemarle Health Department will offer free Hepatitis A vaccines on the third Friday of each month – starting this Friday, April 19, 2019 – from 9:00 to 11:00 AM for food service workers.  Hepatitis A will be provided on a walk-in basis at no charge. 
 
Due to recent outbreaks of Hepatitis A virus in neighboring states, free Hepatitis A vaccines will be offered to food services workers to prevent the spread of Hepatitis A in local food establishments. 
 
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious disease that attacks the liver. It is usually spread from person to person by putting something in the mouth that has been contaminated with the stool (“poop”) of a person with Hepatitis A. It may also spread by consuming food or drink that has been handled by an infected person. Most infections in the United States are from contact with a household member or through close contact with a person who has Hepatitis A (e.g., sharing towels, cigarettes, toothbrushes, or eating utensils; having sex with someone who is infected; or through IV drug use). 
 
Washing your hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before making food and drinks can help stop the spread of Hepatitis A. Getting a Hepatitis A vaccine is also an important way to prevent getting and spreading the infection. 
 
Free Hepatitis A Vaccines for Food Service Workers
  • When:  Third Friday of every month, starting Friday, April 19, 2019
  • Time:  9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
  • Walk-in visits welcome, no appointment needed
People can call the Charlottesville/Albemarle Health Department at 434-972-6269 for more information about the Hepatitis A vaccine clinic for food services workers.
 
To learn more about Hepatitis A virus and vaccine, visit https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/