Is it Time for Your Second Dose of Hepatitis A Vaccine?

If you were among the San Diego County residents to receive a hepatitis A vaccine during the recent local outbreak, it could be time for your second dose of vaccine.

Anyone who received their first hepatitis vaccination before mid-September 2017 should get a second dose now to complete the series and assure long-term protection.

Although the first dose of the vaccine is considered to be around 95 percent effective, that protection will eventually begin to decrease, and a second shot boosts immunity for between 20 and 40 years, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

During the past 12 months, over 127,000 San Diego adults have been vaccinated as part of a sweeping effort to bring the local hepatitis A outbreak under control. Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended as a two-dose series, with the second dose to be given a minimum of six months after the first dose.

San Diego saw the number of new cases of hepatitis A drop dramatically in the latter part of 2017 as more and more at-risk people were vaccinated.

Regardless of where you were vaccinated, whether it was from a County-sponsored vaccination event, your regular health care provider or pharmacy, or health care volunteers, you can receive the second dose from any of those providers. People may also go to a Public Health Center and request the second dose.

To find a Public Health Center or Community Health Center close to you, please call 2-1-1 San Diego. Visit the HHSA hepatitis website for more information.

Tom Christensen is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact