In 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended routine Hepatitis A vaccination for children in high-risk areas. Hepatitis A is a serious, debilitating disease that can be spread easily by mouth. Children often get it from eating foods that are contaminated when infected farm workers or food handlers fail to wash their hands sufficiently or observe proper hygiene. Once infected, children readily spread it among themselves.
The CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), recommend routine Hepatitis A vaccine for children in 17 states where the disease is common: Arizona, Arkansas, Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. It is also recommended for children living in high-risk counties or communities in other states, and for those children traveling internationally.
This vaccine has been very safe and effective. Sadly, many children who would benefit from this valuable protection aren’t getting it. Is yours?