CDC committee recommends hep A vaccine for homeless people

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Oct. 24 recommended all homeless people age 1 and older receive routine hepatitis A vaccinations.

Here are four things to know:

1. The committee passed the recommendation in a unanimous vote.

2. Current vaccine recommendations identify various at-risk groups who would benefit from the hepatitis A vaccine, including travelers, men who have sex with men, and drug users. If the CDC approves the committee's recommendation, homeless people would be added to this list.

3. The recommendation follows mass outbreaks of hepatitis A over the past few years. Between January 2017 and October 2018, more than 6,500 hepatitis A infections occurred across 10 states. Homeless people made up more than 40 percent of cases in San Diego and Utah, according to CDC data cited by CNN.

4. Hepatitis A is highly transmissible and most commonly spread via contact with fecal matter from an infected individual. Symptoms include abdominal pain, low-grade fever, nausea, fatigue and jaundice. Two doses of the vaccine protect individuals from the virus.

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