February 23, 2017 — Around 90,000 people in Hawaii are due for their 2nd shot of the Hepatitis A vaccine after an outbreak last year at Genki Sushi restaurants.
From June to October 2016, at least 292 people were infected with hepatitis A, including two victims who died. The outbreak was blamed on frozen scallops that were imported from the Philippines and served raw at Genki Sushi restaurants.
Hawaii state epidemiologist Sarah Park issued a vaccine reminder to residents who are coming due:
“While one dose of Hepatitis A vaccine provides good protection, two doses are necessary for nearly 100 percent protection and lasting immunity,”
The vaccines must be given 6 months apart. You should call ahead to make sure it is available. To find a vaccinating pharmacy or clinic in Hawaii, use the Vaccine Locator. For more information on the outbreak, visit the Hawaii Department of Health.
There is a class action for everyone who ate or drank at Genki Sushi and needed a vaccine against Hepatitis A or a shot of Immune Globulin (IG) to prevent infection. Another class action involves around 80 people who were actually infected with Hepatitis A.
One lawsuit was filed by Jason Smith, a pest control worker who often ate at Genki Sushi on Oahu until June 2016, when he was diagnosed with hepatitis A. Mr. Smith told Hawaii News Now: “I always ordered the scallops. I looked in the mirror and, what the heck. My eyes were yellow. I turned on the bright light and my skin was yellow.”
Genki Sushi is not accused of intentionally selling contaminated food, but lawyers say the company and its suppliers — Koha Foods and Sea Port Products — are still responsible for helping people who got sick.
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