Florida Offers Emergency Tetanus and Hep-A Vaccinations for Free

CDC recommends flood cleanup workers ensure that their immunization status is appropriate
beach debrise from a hurricane
(Precision Vaccinations)

The Florida Department of Health in Bay County (DOH-Bay) is now offering free Immunizations services for Hepatitis A and Tetanus to qualified Floridians reported Panhandle News.  

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration recommend that workers involved in flood cleanups ensure that their vaccination status is up to date. 

The Hepatitis A vaccination is needed for persons who come in contact with flood waters, which may be contaminated. 

The CDC has been tracking multiple Hepatitis A outbreaks since the Michigan outbreak in 2017.   

Currently, the states of Arkansas, California, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia are reporting widespread hepatitis A outbreaks. 

The CDC advises clinicians to be alert for signs and symptoms of acute Hepatitis A infection, which include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice, that usually resolve within 2 months of infection. 

The good news is that the antibodies produced in response to hepatitis A infection last for life and protect against reinfection. 

Additionally, tetanus vaccinations are needed when a person is cut by storm debris, which may lead to a serious infection. 

The CDC reports that 10 percent of tetanus cases are fatal. 

Tetanus is caused by Clostridium tetani, a spore-forming bacterium that is found in soil says the CDC. 

When those spores enter the body, often through a puncture wound, the bacteria start to produce toxins that induce muscle contractions, especially in the jaw and neck. 

Nearly all cases of tetanus are among people who have never received a tetanus vaccine. 

To better reach consumers, the DOH-Bay is operating a mobile medical clinic in Mexico Beach, at the First Baptist Church, between the hours of 11 am – 3 pm, EST. 

Additionally, there are mobile pharmacies at various Winn Dixie and Walgreens locations throughout Bay County, Florida. 

And, under the Emergency Order issued by Florida Governor Rick Scott, persons can get a 30-day refill of prescriptions at certain locations, and some people may also qualify for the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP).     

The EPAP program pays for certain prescription medications for people without health insurance who are affected by disasters. 

More than 4,900 Florida pharmacies participate in EPAP and can distribute a 30-day supply, as required.