What Vaccines Do You Need with Hepatitis C?
If you have a chronic liver disease like hepatitis C, you are at a higher risk of complications if you become infected with other viruses. Vaccines are a proactive and smart way to protect your liver.
Answers to common vaccine questions
Is there a vaccine for hepatitis C?
No, there is not a vaccine for hepatitis C. The hepatitis C virus is complex. It mutates and replicates rapidly in the body making it difficult to develop a vaccine for all genotypes of hepatitis C.
If I have hepatitis C, am I immune from hepatitis A & B?
No. If you have hepatitis C, you can still become co-infected with other types of hepatitis, and even become infected with a different genotype (virus strain) of hepatitis C at the same time.
How do the hep A & B vaccines help me if I have hepatitis C?
If you have hepatitis C, you can still become co-infected with another type of hepatitis. Your liver is already under attack from one type of virus. The Hep A and B vaccines are proactive protection for your liver from becoming infected with other types of hepatitis.
What vaccines do I need if I have hepatitis C?
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends the hepatitis B vaccine for all infants and children up to age 18 years old. It is also recommended for all adults, especially those in high-risk, to be vaccinated for both hepatitis A and B.
Talk to your doctor about all the vaccines you need to protect you and your liver, which may include:
- Hepatitis A & B vaccines
- If you are eligible, pneumonia shots (Pneumovax 23, Prevnar 13)
- Annual flu shot
- HPV (human papillomavirus) if you are a woman 26 years or younger, or if you are a man 21 years and younger
- MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
- MenACWY (meningococcal ACWY)
- MenB (meningococcal B)
- Tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis)
- Varicella (chickenpox)
- Shingles vaccine
Ways to pay for vaccine
There are many organizations that pay for vaccines with little or no cost to the person. Even if you don’t have insurance, you can get vaccinations with little to no cost for children as well as adults. Options include private health insurance, military insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, local public health Centers, and state health departments.1,2
Have you been diagnosed with cirrhosis?