Hep A cases declining, Pinellas Health Dept. no longer offering free vaccinations to most residents

By The Numbers

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla (WFLA) – Reports of hepatitis A are finally declining and Pinellas County Health officials are stepping away from free vaccinations.

Last year, Pinellas County was a major contributor to Florida’s Hepatitis A outbreaks. They deployed on-foot teams to administer free vaccinations to combat additional spreading of the highly contagious virus.

After administering more than 800 vaccines in 2019, county officials now plan to cut back but still provide free vaccinations to high-risk residents like homeless people and drug users.

However, the remainder of the population will pay a $70.66 for the two-dose hepatitis A vaccine. The cost is usually covered by insurance providers.

Between 2018 and 2019, Pinellas County more than doubled its cases of hepatitis A from 113 to 377. The entire state saw a record 3,408 cases, including 58 deaths in 2019.

Last month, Pinellas County had no reported cases of the virus. There have been none so far this month either.

So far in 2019, Polk County has reported 10 cases of hepatitis A. Hillsborough has one and Pasco County has none.

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