Rome Memorial Hospital is relocating its Hepatitis A vaccination clinic this afternoon to the Rome Campus of Mohawk Valley Community College due to the overwhelming demand at Tuesday’s clinic, where more than 400 people were immunized in less than two hours.
The entrance to the drive-thru clinic will be on Bell Road to facilitate traffic flow, hospital officials said. The clinic will be held noon to 4 p.m., or until vaccine supplies are depleted.
The hospital was provided with another 650 doses of adult vaccine, as well as 100 pediatric doses for those under 19, who have not already been immunized as a child, to respond to the potential Hepatitis A exposures in the community, officials added.
Rome Memorial Hospital is conducting the clinic in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health and the Oneida County Health Department. No appointment is required. The vaccine is also available through the Oneida County Health Department. Call 315-798-5747 and press 1 to make an appointment at the health department clinic.
Rome Memorial Hospital Director of Infection Prevention Emma Ingalls, RN, emphasized that the Hepatitis A vaccine is effective for post-exposure protection only if administered within two weeks of a potential exposure. In addition, because of the limited supply of pediatric doses, families are advised to review their child’s immunization records because they may already be protected.
According to the Oneida County Health Department, a LaRoma’s Pizzeria employee who tested positive for Hepatitis A worked at the restaurant’s locations in Camden and Rome.
Customers who consumed food prepared by LaRoma’s of Camden on April 30 or May between 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. must receive preventive treatment within 14 days of the exposure. The health department had previously advised customers of the Rome location to receive preventative treatment if they ate food prepared by the restaurant between April 27 and May 4.
Anyone who doesn’t receive the post exposure vaccine within the 14-day window should monitor themselves for symptoms. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms include yellow skin or eyes, not wanting to eat, upset stomach, stomach pain, throwing up, fever, dark urine or light-colored stools, joint pain, diarrhea, feeling tired.
The New York State Department of Health Bureau of Immunization provided the publicly purchased vaccine, which will be administered by hospital staff, as part of its public health emergency response and preparedness activities.
People who get hepatitis A may feel sick for a few weeks to several months but usually recover completely and do not have lasting liver damage. Symptoms commonly appear within 28 days of exposure, with a range of 15 to 50 days.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. It is spread by consuming food or drinks or by using utensils that have been handled by an infected person. It can also be spread from close, personal contact with an infected person. Casual contact, such as sitting together, does not spread the virus.
If you have any of these symptoms, please contact your health care provider or the OCHD.