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S D J Med. 1996 Sep;49(9):317-22.

Guidelines for prevention and control of hepatitis A in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Author information

  • 1Epidemiology Program, Aberdeen Area Indian Health Service, Rapid City, SD, USA.

Erratum in

  • S D J Med 1997 May;50(5):179.


The Aberdeen Area Indian Health Service, South Dakota Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have collaborated since 1985 to investigate hepatitis A in Indian communities in the Northern Plains and to implement clinical trials of hepatitis A vaccine. After licensure of the hepatitis A vaccine in February 1995, community wide immunization programs have been implemented effectively in several communities experiencing hepatitis A outbreaks. The state health department, tribal health departments, Indian Health Service facilities, Head Start programs and schools have provided hepatitis A immunizations to children aged 2-12 years in each of these communities after obtaining parental consent. Culturally-specific educational materials were developed and extensive health education efforts were provided by IHS and tribal programs. Hepatitis A contacts age 2-12 were offered the hepatitis A vaccine at the same time they were offered passive immunization with immune globulin. To date over 70% of parents contacted by letter or in person have returned consent forms to have their children immunized. Higher response rates were obtained in communities where home visits were made to explain this program in more detail. The outbreaks appear to have stopped after 70% or more of the children aged 2-12 years were immunized. Immunization programs are being implemented in all Northern Plains Indian communities utilizing hepatitis. A vaccine from the Vaccine For Children Program. These efforts will likely eliminate hepatitis A as a health problem for Indian communities.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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