As the death toll in the Hepatitis A outbreak climbs to 18, California Governor Jerry Brown has officially declared a state of emergency.

The emergency proclamation, which was issued by Brown on Friday, allows the state to increase its supply of hepatitis A vaccines in order to control the current outbreak.

Immunizations from the federal vaccine program have been distributed to at-risk populations in affected areas, but additional supplies are needed, according to a statement released by Brown’s office.

The emergency proclamation gives the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) authority to immediately purchase vaccines directly from manufacturers and distribute them to impacted communities.

National-level public health experts note that the San Diego-centered outbreak is the worst one recorded in decades.

Dr. Janet Haas, president-elect of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, said the outbreak is unusual for the U.S. because the spread of the liver infection has been blamed on a lack of basic hygiene and sanitation, not contaminated food.

That means public health officials can’t solely rely on previous containment methods.

“It’s not like there’s never been a hepatitis A outbreak before. … We know what’s worked in the past. Usually that contains it and the story ends,” Haas said. “But sometimes it doesn’t work, or circumstances are different and you have to ramp it up.”

For a state that has railed against the Trump administration so vigorously and has a contingent of citizens ready to #CalExit, our officials seem to have no problem draining federal resources…such as monies for wildfire response or vaccines to fight a disease outbreak.

California’s multi-county hepatitis A outbreak has so strained the federal government’s supply of vaccine that the state will take its own steps to secure more doses directly from manufacturers under an emergency declaration declared by Gov. Jerry Brown Friday.

Dr. Gil Chavez, state epidemiologist and deputy director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at the California Department of Public Health, said that the state has already received more than 80,000 free doses from a federal “317” emergency vaccine program run by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“In our communications with them, as of late, it’s been very clear that our continuous requests for additional vaccine is running into their limit of what they can share with California,” Chavez said.

As a Californian, I would like to thank all the tax-paying Americans who have made our recent emergency responses possible. Please feel free to continue mocking our state officials when they rail against the current administration, which is now bailing them out of the “unintended consequences” of their social justice antics.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.