Restaurant patrons in Charlotte, N.C., exposed to viral hepatitis A receive vaccines

Residents of Charlotte and nearby Concord, North Carolina, who may have been exposed to hepatitis A at two local restaurants waited nearly 2.5 hours to be inoculated on the last day that the vaccine would be effective against infection for many.

Hooters in Concord and Whiskey Warehouse in Charlotte's Plaza-Midwood neighborhood contacted the local health department after learning one of their female employees has viral hepatitis A. The health department is urging everyone who may have eaten at the restaurants since Feb. 7 to get vaccinated, according to

Feb. 20 marked the last day for those who patronized Whiskey Warehouse on Feb. 6 to be vaccinated. A Mecklenburg County Health Department news release listed Feb. 9 and Feb. 13 as additional days that patrons had the greatest chance of exposure. Hooters patrons on Feb. 7 or Feb. 8 were similarly warned.

Public health officials said that the health department is offering the vaccination free of charge and are making it available as needed, reports.

Frankie Gunnell was first in line for the vaccine on February 20, a day after the announcement was made.

"I just got the shot," Gunnell said, reports. "I don't know if it's in my system. I don't know how it works. I don't know if a few weeks down the road, I'm going to get sick."