Apr 25 2019

Mast Introduces Legislation To Make Hepatitis A Vaccine Free In At-Risk Areas

Florida Has Designated Martin and Palm Beach Counties As High-Risk Zones

Stuart, Fla. – U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today introduced legislation, called the Hepatitis Exposure Prevention Act (or HEP A), to increase access to the hepatitis A vaccination by directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to administer the vaccine for free in communities designated by the Governor of a state as at risk of a hepatitis A outbreak.

“Getting vaccinated is the single most effective action that people can take to avoid getting hepatitis A,” Rep. Mast said. “If people are not already vaccinated, they should immediately get vaccinated. The vaccine is widely available through healthcare providers and at pharmacies, and the Florida Department of Health in both Martin and Palm Beach Counties can assist people without insurance to get the vaccine. We must work together to ensure that nobody in an at-risk community remains unvaccinated because of concerns about the cost.”

Florida is currently experiencing a statewide hepatitis A outbreak, with more than 850 reported cases, including 19 in Martin County, six in Palm Beach County and two in St. Lucie County. The state has declared both Martin and Palm Beach counties to be high-risk zones for the virus. The single most effective action people can take to avoid getting hepatitis A is to be vaccinated.