FAQ: Liver Disease & the COVID-19 Vaccine
Originally published Wednesday, February 3, 2021.
The COVID-19 vaccines currently available, Moderna and Pfizer, are not live vaccines. Therefore, they cannot cause a COVID-19 infection in the recipient.
There are no vaccines which have been demonstrated to cause or worsen chronic liver diseases.
At this time, we do NOT have robust data that patients with liver diseases are at any increased risk for getting COVID-19 compared to the general population. Patients with advanced liver disease may experience more severe COVID illness if they do catch it due to the liver’s decreased ability to fight the infection.
Yes! Specifically, the Moderna and Pfizer (mRNA based) vaccines are NOT live vaccines, so these are safe to receive for people on the medications we use for liver disease.
It is essential that we continue to wear masks, watch our physical distance, and wash our hands to slow the spread of COVID-19.
We know having benign liver diseases might change the effectiveness of many vaccines, including the new COVID vaccines. However, it is still beneficial to receive the vaccine when it becomes available to you. While we know the vaccine is safe to receive, we will continue to gather more data about how effective the vaccine is in patients with liver disease as more people get vaccinated.
We encourage patients and caregivers to follow the guidance below:
- Seek information from reputable online resources, such as AASLD.org, and medical organizations that provide specific data and references about the vaccine, like the Centers for Disease Control, Food & Drug Administration, and National Institutes of Health.
- Continue to talk with your primary care physician about when and how your COVID-19 vaccine may become available.