Paramedics to Provide Vaccinations to Homeless in Effort to Slow Deadly Hepatitis Outbreak in San Diego

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Contract workers in San Diego clean up city streets amid a worsening hepatitis A outbreak. (Credit: KSWB)

Contract workers in San Diego clean up city streets amid a worsening hepatitis A outbreak. (Credit: KSWB)

Paramedics are the newest troops in the fight against San Diego’s ever-growing hepatitis A outbreak.

A letter signed this week by the director of the state Emergency Medical Services Authority temporarily expands state laws that govern paramedics, granting them emergency powers to “vaccinate at-risk populations in response to the outbreak.”

Dr. Kristi Koenig, director of the San Diego County Emergency Medical Service, requested the temporary scope of practice expansion on Sept. 20 and said Wednesday night that she received approval in the mail Tuesday.

Paramedics will be able to deliver hepatitis A doses only under the supervision of nurses and only at special events created to inoculate those who are at high risk of infection, including homeless residents, drug users and those with liver disease or compromised immune systems.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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