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HEPATITIS A FOOT TEAMS PROTECT THE COMMUNITY-- A WAGON TRIP AT A TIME

By Maggie Hall, Public Information, DOH-Pinellas

August 20, 2019

With hepatitis A vaccines in coolers and clinic supplies on a collapsible red wagon, staff from the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County’s (DOH-Pinellas) are protecting the community from the virus throughout the county.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, foot teams tote their supplies to locations where those at higher risk for hepatitis A may congregate. These groups include those experiencing homelessness and those who use illegal drugs.

The teams identify areas of the county with higher populations of these groups or a higher number of cases and set out from those with their wagon. They reach out to those not likely to come to a DOH-Pinellas clinic to be vaccinated. The first use of the foot teams was after a vaccination event in the Lealman area of unincorporated Pinellas in June. Since then, they have provided almost 700 vaccines via foot team outreaches only.

The team provides information on hepatitis A and its risks to those they vaccinate as well as to those who decline the vaccine. Teams consist of nurses and disease control staff who keep track of inventory and consent forms. Foot teams have visited locations such as bus terminals and low-cost motels with their red wagons.

For information about DOH-Pinellas and its hepatitis A efforts, go to www.PinellasHealth.com and click on the yellow alert atop the page. Follow us on Twitter @HealthyPinellas.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.