As the global fight against COVID-19 continues and more than 2.5 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines administered in over 190 countries, vaccine hesitancy remains a major impediment to curb COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Misinformation about the coronavirus and vaccine conspiracy theories have largely contributed to increasing people’s fears. However, many others who are yet to receive the jab are seeking assurances and clarifications to various concerns they have, like an Instagram user who asked GhanaFact to verify whether it is safe for people with Hepatitis B to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is a major global health problem and can cause chronic infection and put people at high risk of death from cirrhosis and liver cancer.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a safe and effective vaccine that offers 98-100% protection against hepatitis B is available.

The virus is most commonly transmitted from mother to child during birth and delivery, as well as through contact with blood or other body fluids, including sex with an infected partner, injection-drug use that involves sharing needles, syringes, or drug-preparation equipment and needle sticks or exposures to sharp instruments.


Hepatitis B patients and COVID-19 vaccines

The World Health Organization said COVID-19 vaccine trials have not comprehensively evaluated safety in patients with the chronic liver disease even though it does not recommend screening for hepatitis B before vaccination.

“There are no biological reasons that indicate that COVID-19 vaccines cause any adverse outcomes in this group of patients,” WHO Africa Infodemic Response Alliance secretariat told GhanaFact.

Furthermore, the Global Hepatology Society which is composed of the major professional clinical liver societies around the globe is also encouraging people with liver disease to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

“We strongly recommend that all patients with liver disease (viral and non-viral disease, including fatty liver) undergo immunization with any authorized COVID-19 vaccine that is offered to them.” a statement released by the Global Hepatology Society stated.


Researched by Gifty Tracy Aminu