Vaccines for People Living with Hepatitis C —Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief
Living with hepatitis C is not easy. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, everyone with hepatitis C can be cured and put this awful
disease behind them. Until that time, there are many strategies to implement to stay
healthy. One of the best strategies to stay
healthy is to make sure that all the vaccinations that people need to stay protected are up-to-date. The list below is not all-inclusive. There may be other vaccinations that people may need because of other health risks, gender or age. I am also providing some resources and a link to a quiz given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC at the end of this article. As always people should check in with their medical provider as the prime resource for the best information.
Hepatitis A vaccine – if you are not already immune this two shots series will protect you against hepatitis A. Hepatitis A is generally not a life-threatening disease. It can be serious for people with liver disease. I have heard from many people that the symptoms are very severe!
Hepatitis B vaccine – This is another vaccination that you should receive if you are not already immune. It is a 3 shot series. Acute and chronic hepatitis B are very serious and potentially life-threatening diseases.
Note: Twinrix– there is a combination hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine that can be given within 6 months. There
is also a rapid schedule – talk with your medical provider.
Influenza (Flu) – Every fall people with hepatitis C should have this vaccination to prevent getting the flu and to protect others around them.
Pneumococcal – everyone with hepatitis C, other people with a chronic illness, and those over 65 years old should receive this
vaccine. You may also need a 1-time dose of Prevnar.
Tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis) (Tdap,Td) – people with hepatitis C should get a 1-time dose of Tdap vaccine –the adult whooping cough vaccine—and women need to get a dose during each pregnancy. After that, you will need a Td booster dose every 10 years. Consult with your medical provider if you haven’t had at least 3 tetanus and diphtheria toxoid-containing shots sometime in your life or if you have a deep or dirty wound.
The Immunization Action Coalition list the following vaccinations as ‘Maybe’ vaccines for adults with hepatitis C.
- Human papillomavirus
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
- Meningococcal (menACWY)[ MCV4], MenB, MPSv4)
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
- Zoster (shingles)
- Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b)
Take the CDC vaccination quiz at:
Vaccinations for Adults with Hepatitis C Infections – http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4042.pdf