More than 1,000 line up for hepatitis A vaccinations in Victoria

Number of people claiming connection to grocery store's deli products swells this week

During the first three clinics offered to people potentially exposed to hepatitis A, more than 1,000 people received vaccinations.

Victoria public health unit staff stayed several hours overtime to keep up with the demand on Monday evening, said Shannon Marshall, spokesperson for the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

Last week, news broke that an employee of Fairway Market in Quadra Village who worked in the deli had been diagnosed with Hep A.

As a precaution the health authority advised anyone who consumed non pre-packaged deli food, purchased March 18, 19, 20, 22, 25, or 26, to get vaccinated.

The risk of infection “is very low,” Marshall said. As of late Tuesday, she said, no one had been identified as getting sick who had any connection to Fairway.

VIHA’s medical health officer determined the diagnosed employee was obeying good hygiene practices, she added.

VIHA has twice extended the vaccination period. Clinics are scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday (April 4 and 5) at the health unit, 1947 Cook St. Another clinic could happen this Saturday, depending on demand.

People do not have to show any proof of purchase from the deli – an honour system is in effect for receiving a vaccination.

“Sadly, we’ve heard of people exploiting the clinic,” said Marshall, adding its important that people who are eligible to receive it have the opportunity to do so.

rholmen@vicnews.com

Did you know?

• Symptoms of Hep A can start to appear two to six weeks after exposure to the virus.