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COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs - Hepatitis and Liver Disease

Posted 17 February, 2021
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Australia’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines is now being rolled out in stages across the country. You may have concerns about being vaccinated, especially if you have viral hepatitis or liver disease. Read our Frequently Asked Questions below for information.

If your question doesn’t have an answer, please get in touch via our online chat or Infoline on 1800 437 222. These FAQs will be updated as more information becomes known.

Please note: the information provided on this page is general guidance. Please visit Queensland Health for up-to-date information.

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
I have viral hepatitis, should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Vaccination is the best form of protection from COVID-19, this includes people with underlying health conditions. If you have a chronic illness, such as chronic liver disease, you will be considered a high priority for getting the vaccine early. If you’re unsure, talk to your doctor.

I have chronic liver disease, should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

People with chronic medical conditions such as liver disease are at increased risk if they contract COVID-19. As there is no cure for COVID-19 the best form of protection is vaccination.

Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have had a liver transplant or I’m waiting for one?

The Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) is supportive of COVID-19 immunisation and has successfully advocated for organ recipients to be highly prioritised. Visit TSANZ for more information.

Are the COVID vaccines safe for people with liver disease?

COVID-19 vaccines must first be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) before they can be used. Vaccines must undergo thorough safety, quality and effectiveness testing before the TGA will approve them for use. While the vaccine trials have not looked specifically at safety in patients with liver disease, there is no data to suggest harm.

More information – AASLD Expert Panel Consensus Statement: Vaccines to prevent COVID-19 infection in patients with liver disease

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m currently on treatment for hepatitis B or C?

COVID-19 vaccines do not contain a live virus and will not be affected by anti-viral medication. Always talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking.

More information – AASLD Expert Panel Consensus Statement: Vaccines to prevent COVID-19 infection in patients with liver disease

When will I receive the vaccine?

Those who are at greatest risk of being exposed to COVID-19 will receive the vaccine first. This group includes health care workers and residents in care facilities. Following this, Queenslanders will be prioritised according to their level of risk. People with an underlying medical condition, such as chronic liver disease, will receive the vaccine before the general population.

Use the ABC News online quiz to work out which priority group you fall into.

How much will the COVID-19 vaccine cost?

The vaccine is free for all Australian citizens, permanent residents, and most visa-holders.

Are there any side effects?

Side effects can include a sore arm where you have been injected, fever and muscle aches. Clinical evidence shows side effects are mild and short-term. The vaccines are currently being monitored to detect any long-term effects. In the short term, we know being vaccinated significantly reduces the risk of hospitalisation and death from COVID-19.

Where can I get more information about the COVID-19 vaccine?

Information about how the COVID-19 vaccines are developed, tested and approved is available from the Australian Government Department of Health.


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