SHALIMAR, Fla. — In response to 19 new Hepatitis A cases recorded in Florida in the last week, Okaloosa County will soon offer vaccinations for the virus through their emergency medical services personnel.
“Hepatitis A has been a situation in the state of Florida, especially further south,” said Christopher Saul, the county’s public information officer. “We’re just getting ahead of the 8-ball, we’re getting ahead of the curve and making sure that we’re keeping everybody as safe as possible.”
County Commissioners approved the request on Tuesday for emergency medical professionals to assist the Okaloosa County Health Department in locating high-risk individuals in order to provide immunizations for the disease.
High-risk groups include the homeless population and non-prescription drug users.
The measure is an attempt to combat the virus and keep it from spreading throughout the Okaloosa area.
“We’re getting to use our paramedics’ and EMTs’ very specific skillset to help the people in Okaloosa county who pay the taxes and make sure that they’re all safe,” said Saul.
Okaloosa County officials say they’re not sure yet of the details of the administration of these vaccines, but the memorandum approval on Tuesday solidifies the reltionship between the EMS personnel and the Health Department on this issue.