Update for people with liver disease on the Covid-19 vaccine

Posted on: 11th November 2020

The recent news that a Covid-19 vaccine has been effective in trials will bring hope to liver patients, many of whom are clinically extremely vulnerable and might experience more severe symptoms if they were to catch the virus.

Although this is promising news, it’s worth keeping in mind that this vaccine still needs to be approved by regulators, manufactured on a large scale and distributed before it can be administered.

However, if the vaccine is approved, it could be given to some people in the UK later this year.

We have been advised by Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) that the UK has secured potential early access to 355m vaccine doses:

Vaccine No. of doses (in Millions) Phase of trials
Oxford Uni/ Astra Zeneca 100 Phase 3
Novavax 60 Phase 3
BioNTech/Pfizer 40 Phase 3
Moderna 5 Phase 3
Janssen 30 Phase 2
GSK/Sanofi Pasteur 60 Phase 1
Valneva 60 Pre-clinical

These vaccines are all still in development and have not yet been approved for use.

The only vaccines that are ‘live’ out of the above are Oxford Uni/Astra Zeneca and Janssen. DHSC have indicated to us verbally that they are not ‘live’ in the ‘conventional’ sense (they don’t replicate) and that “it is unlikely that anyone would be contra indicated for any of the live vaccines that are currently being developed unless they have a specific allergy to that vaccine”.

We are currently waiting to receive further written information from the DHSC and have asked a number of other questions for liver disease patients. We will update this web page as soon as we receive further information.

For more general information for liver patients about Covid-19, please read our FAQs.

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