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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
CANADA: Dozens Denied Hepatitis A Shots in Victoria as Demand Exceeds Supply
Derek Spalding
April 3, 2012
Victoria Times Colonist (04.01.12) - Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Following the hepatitis A diagnosis of an employee at the Fairway Market on Quadra Street in Victoria, health officials urged everyone who ate at the deli on specific dates to get immunized against the virus. Clinics were held Saturday and Sunday; however, about 200 people were turned away after vaccine supplies ran out.

Roughly 110 doses were administered Saturday at the Victoria Health Unit on Cook Street. The remaining 640 available doses had been given out by late Sunday afternoon, even as the line of people waiting for the shot stretched from Pembroke Street to Caledonia Avenue. "A lot of people are not happy about it," said one woman who stood in line for nearly two hours before being told the vaccine had run out.

Medical Health Officer Dr. Charmaine Enns said the public's response was a bit of a surprise. "We don't normally keep that much vaccine around for hepatitis A," she said. "We didn't really know how many to expect." The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) had said anyone who ate food prepared in- store at the Fairway Market at 2635 Quadra St. on March 18-20, 22, 25 or 26 should receive the hepatitis A vaccine as a precaution.

Customers who ate at the deli March 7-15 also may have been exposed, but for them too much time has passed for the vaccine to prevent infection, Enns said.

VIHA is continuing to provide immunizations to Fairway employees and customers at a drop-in clinic this Monday- Thursday, 1-5 p.m., 1947 Cook St.