The Importance of Vaccines with Hepatitis C
If you have hepatitis C, your immune system may be compromised with fighting the hepatitis C virus. Getting sick can further complicate your liver condition and put you at risk for complications. There are several important vaccines you need in order to reduce the risk of your getting sick.
Vaccines for hepatitis A & B
It is highly recommended for all persons to receive the vaccines for hepatitis A and B. These vaccines cause the body to produce its own protection with antibodies against the hepatitis A and B virus infection.
The vaccines for hepatitis A and B are given in a series of shots. It is possible for someone with hepatitis C to also contract another hepatitis virus at the same time. The vaccines for hepatitis A and B help protect the person from developing these two types of infections.
Annual flu vaccine
There are approximately 3.5 million people in the United States that have hepatitis C. The CDC reports there are approximately 700,000 people hospitalized each year from complications with the flu. Up to 50,000 Americans die each year from flu-related complications. People with hepatitis C have a higher risk of developing complications from the flu. Hepatitis C patients can more easily develop flu-related complications such as bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infections, and ear infections, and the risk of making their liver condition worse.
The flu vaccine helps protect you from several strains of the flu virus, reducing your risk of getting sick. The older the hepatitis C patient is, the higher the risk of having flu-related complications. Washing hands, protection with coughing and sneezing, and limiting exposure to those who are sick are recommended.
The CDC recommends the pneumonia vaccine for all adults 65 years or older, children and adults with certain compromised medical conditions, and adults 19 years old through 64 years old who smoke cigarettes. Talk to your physician if you have hepatitis C about getting the pneumonia vaccine.
It is recommended for people who are 60 years and older to get the shingles vaccine to prevent shingles and PHN. PHN is postherpetic neuralgia, a painful, chronic (long-lasting) condition that can occur after the shingles. Talk to your physician or pharmacy about getting the shingles and PHN vaccine.
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