In a unanimous vote on Wednesday, members of the CDC’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) made the decision that ALL homeless people should be offered hepatitis A vaccinations. (Will forcing them be next?)

“ACIP members recommended 11-0 that all persons at least 1-year-old who are ‘experiencing homelessness should be routinely immunized against hepatitis A.’

With this vote, the committee essentially endorsed the hepatitis A workgroup’s recommendation to add homelessness to the groups at increased risk of hepatitis A or severe hepatitis A disease. Current risk groups include travelers, men who have sex with men, and users of injection and non-injection illicit drugs.”1

The group decided on this course of action because it:2

  • protects “a vulnerable population and increase herd immunity over time” and
  • is “likely less costly than vaccination as part of an outbreak response.”
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Other topics covered were:

  • adopting a “national approach” to vaccinating the homeless as the population is not stable
  • variable definitions of “homelessness,” and uncertainty over how long it may truly last
  • the feasibility and practicality of implementing the recommendation, specifically regarding the tracking of immunizations and
  • the 2019 vaccination schedules for adults and for children and adolescents (such as the use of live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) and a CpG-adjuvanted hepatitis B vaccine)
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All ACIP recommendations are not considered final until they appear in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Yikes. Does anyone else see a problem with this? I can promise that we will be watching this story closely and update you should these recommendations change from “offering” to “forced vaccination.”

Sources and References

  1. MedPageToday, October 24, 2018.
  2. MedPageToday, October 24, 2018.