Outbreaks worsening national shortage of hep A vaccine, says CDC

The U.S. is experiencing a shortage of the hepatitis A vaccine amid ongoing outbreaks of the disease nationwide, reports CNN.

An outbreak in Southeast Michigan has sickened 495 people and caused 19 deaths since August 2016. A separate outbreak in California, which started in November 2016, has sickened at least 644 people and caused 21 deaths. California health officials declared the outbreak a public health emergency in San Diego County Sept. 1 and have administered at least 68,500 hepatitis A vaccination doses to help curb the outbreak.

However, "current supply is not sufficient to support demand for vaccine," the CDC told CNN in a written statement.

The agency has been working with public health officials to administer vaccinations to the most at-risk populations. CDC is also communicating with vaccine manufacturers "to monitor and manage public and private vaccine orders to make the best use of supplies ... during this period of unexpected increased demand," according to CNN.

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