SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an emergency proclamation that 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. Today’s proclamation gives the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) authority to immediately purchase vaccines directly from manufacturers and distribute them to impacted communities.
Later today, CDPH officials will host a call for reporters regarding the current hepatitis A outbreak and efforts to increase the supply of adult hepatitis A vaccines. Credentialed media may join the 2:00 p.m. PDT call by dialing 800-230-1059; when prompted, provide the title of the call: “Hepatitis A CDPH.”
For additional information about the hepatitis A outbreak, visit the CDPH website.
An attested copy of today’s proclamation can be found here and the full text is below:
PROCLAMATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY
WHEREAS California is currently experiencing the largest person-to-person hepatitis A virus outbreak in the United States since the hepatitis A vaccine became available 22 years ago; and
WHEREAS several counties have declared local outbreaks due to the unprecedented number of hepatitis A virus infections, particularly among persons experiencing homelessness and some illicit drug users; and
WHEREAS vaccinating at-risk populations and improving sanitation are the most effective ways to stop the person-to-person spread of the hepatitis A virus; and
WHEREAS controlling outbreaks minimizes the risk to the public, maintains the health and safety of the people of California, and limits the health risks to at-risk populations in affected locations; and
WHEREAS the federally-funded supply of vaccines is inadequate to meet the State’s current needs, and therefore, California must directly obtain the vaccine; and
WHEREAS sustaining the timely and effective local response will require State support to provide adequate vaccines, supplies, and resources; and
WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8558(b) of the Government Code, I find that these circumstances constitute a state of emergency; and
WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8571 of the Government Code, I find that strict compliance with the various statutes and regulations specified in this order would prevent, hinder, or delay the mitigation of the effects of the outbreak.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the state Constitution and statutes, including the California Emergency Services Act, and in particular, section 8625 of the California Government Code, HEREBY PROCLAIM A STATE OF EMERGENCY to exist in California.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1. The California Department of Public Health shall take all measures necessary to obtain hepatitis A vaccines and prioritize the vaccination of at-risk individuals in affected locations.
2. All drugs and medical supply stocks intended for wholesale distribution shall be held subject to the control and coordination of the California Department of Public Health as necessary to control the hepatitis A outbreak.
3. Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic licensees in the affected locations shall have the authority to administer the appropriate vaccines to at-risk populations. To the extent that the provisions of Health and Safety Code sections 1797.52 and 1797.21 prohibit Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic licensees from administering the appropriate vaccines to at-risk populations, those statutes are hereby waived.
I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this proclamation be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given of this proclamation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 13th day of October 2017.
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor of California
Secretary of State