applying ebp homeless population lisa
The homeless population is at an increased risk for hepatitis A. Since 2018, there has been a significant increase in Hepatitis A with 7000 cases reported in 12 states. Hepatitis A (HAV) is caused by poor sanitation and contaminated food and water. In addition to the homeless population, Hepatitis A is prevalent in international travelers, IV and non-injection drug abuse, and men who have sex with men (MSM). Effective prevention of this disease is possible with the Hepatitis A vaccine. The recommendation is for those at increased risk starting at the age of 12-23 months old. This vaccine creates antibodies that persist for at least twenty years (Centers for Disease Control, 2019).
However, the data is showing that non-U.S. born minorities are least likely to get the Hepatitis A vaccine. Many of these people travel back to their country of origin without receiving the necessary vaccines. Vaccination coverage is lowest for non-US-born Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. Lowest vaccination rates were for Hispanics over 35 years of age, with high school education or less, and unemployed. Thirty-five percent of people with Hepatitis A are hospitalized (Narayanan, Elsaid, NeMoyer, Trivedi, Zeb, & Rustgi, 2019).
Aside from encouraging these populations from getting the vaccine, handwashing is an important preventive measure especially after using the bathroom. Homeless shelters could offer the vaccine to all who enter and have signs about handwashing. With these interventions in place, the rate of and spread of Hepatitis A can be decreased.
Narayanan, N., Elsaid, M. I., NeMoyer, R. E., Trivedi, N., Zeb, U., & Rustgi, V. K. (2019). Disparities in hepatitis A virus (HAV) vaccination coverage among adult travelers to intermediate or high-risk countries: The role of birthplace and race/ethnicity. Vaccine, 37(30), 4111-4117. doi:http://dx.doi.org.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/10.1016…
Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Use of Hepatitis A Vaccine for Persons Experiencing Homelessness (2019). Retrieved, from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/pdfs/mm6806a6-H.pdf.