COVID-19 Updates: Keeping You Safe + Elective Surgeries + Donating Plasma
- Middlesex Health is open and providing patient care, in person and through Virtual Visits. We have also resumed performing elective procedures.
Efforts to develop a hepatitis C vaccine started more than 25 years ago, when the hepatitis C virus was identified. Since then, researchers have studied more than 20 potential vaccines in animals. A few of these vaccines, developed mainly in the past decade, have undergone limited testing in people.
The following two clinical trials are now underway to find out if recently developed experimental vaccines are safe and effective in people.
If these trials have good results, larger trials will still be necessary to verify this effect and determine the best way to deploy the vaccine.
Progress has been slow for a number of reasons, including:
The hepatitis C virus is more variable than are the viruses that cause hepatitis A and hepatitis B. For starters, hepatitis C virus occurs in at least six genetically distinct forms (genotypes) with multiple subtypes. About 50 subtypes have been identified.
Different hepatitis C virus genotypes (variants) cause most infections in different parts of the world. A global vaccine would have to protect against all these variants of the virus.
Hepatitis C virus can infect chimpanzees, and the infection in chimpanzees is similar to that in human adults. Ethical and cost concerns, however, limit medical research with these animals.
Last Updated Nov 9, 2017