Health district holds free Hepatitis A vaccine clinic for restaurant workers

Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 7:38 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - In Roanoke, efforts to end the recent outbreak of Hepatitis A included a vaccine clinic for restaurant workers Monday.

The Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts held the free clinic at the Williamson Road branch of the Roanoke City Public library.

Since September health officials say 123 people have been diagnosed with Hepatitis A, and 83 have been hospitalized.

Monday morning, Health Director Dr. Cynthia Morrow, Roanoke Delegate Sam Rasoul and Mac and Bob’s Restaurant owner Bob Rotanz said they were presenting a united front in an effort to address the outbreak.

“It’s critical that we recognize the importance of prevention of Hepatitis A,” Morrow said. “Hepatitis A is an entirely vaccine preventable disease "

“Many times it can be a low-cost or free vaccine that your insurance can cover,” added Rasoul.

“So we’re going to try to keep doing the things that we do every day, washing our hands and doing our policies, but the vaccination is something that we really want to get our staff on board and up-to-date on,” said Rotanz.

Rotanz said that a dozen of the restaurant’s employees have now received the vaccine. And with the help of the health department, he hopes to reach 100%.

Health officials haven’t scheduled another clinic for restaurant workers yet, but they say they will work with restaurants to make sure their employees are able to get the Hepatitis A vaccine.

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