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EMS Agencies Can Make a Difference in Hepatitis A Outbreak

According to a Florida Department of Health report posted on Monday, Florida has had 1,978 reported cases of hepatitis A this year. View Numbers by County, provided by The News Service of Florida.

DOH recommends that health care providers offer the hepatitis A vaccine to all persons at risk of hepatitis A infection who have not been vaccinated or do not know their vaccination status. The authority for a paramedic to perform immunizations exist in Florida Statute 401.27. This statute places EMS agencies in a unique situation to make a difference in this outbreak, and DOH is offering assistance in implementing EMS immunization programs.

DOH has identified 4 models of EMS Immunization Programs:
  1. EMS Community Paramedicine Immunization Programs: These programs perform vaccination clinics in the community events such as footballs games, fairs, festivals, etc.
  2. EMS Community Paramedicine Integrated Into 911 Response Immunization Program: These programs identify high risks patients during their 911 emergency calls and send community paramedics to their location to vaccinate soon after the 911 encounter.
  3. EMS/Fire Station Programs: These programs maintain a small supply of vaccine at the EMS/Fire Stations and perform vaccinations on patients that wish to be vaccinated.
  4. 911 Response Immunization Program: These programs carry refrigerated vaccine on 911 responding ambulances and perform vaccinations in non-emergency situations.
These programs would be implemented in partnership with your local County Health Department (CHD). The EMS Section will facilitate the implementation with your local CHD if needed. Sample training documents and a sample Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) are being developed for those that already have an established relationship with their CHD.

If you are interested in implementing an EMS Immunization Program, please complete this brief, 3-question survey. more

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