Avatar universal

Gamma globulin vaccination

I donated blood at Carter Blood Bank several weeks ago.  I received a letter stating I tested positive for hepatitis C although have had very little risk of exposure to this virus.  After running three different types of tests (including RIBA), Carter determined I could not donate blood to others, but could keep a bank for myself for autologous donations.  They asked that I return no sooner than six months after my blood donation for further testing at no charge to myself, which I plan to do.  

I have worked for a large group of doctors for 26 years.  In the 1980's we were all exposed to hepatitis C by one of our coworkers through food products at a pot-luck luncheon.  One of our doctors asked that we get the gamma globulin vaccination to be safe.  I had forgotten about this incident until I received the letter.  Please be aware that the gamma globulin in the "old days" was not the safest vaccination and I probably am hepatitis C positive because of this.  I am not concerned, just frustrated by the fact that I cannot donate blood to those who need it.  

I welcome any comments concerning this by others.  

This discussion is related to Another question re. gamma globulin.
7 Responses
Avatar universal
"I have worked for a large group of doctors for 26 years.  In the 1980's we were all exposed to hepatitis C by one of our coworkers through food products at a pot-luck luncheon"

You were not exposed to hepc through food. That is an incorrect statement and the doctor who suggested the gamma globulin vaccination certainly did not know what he was talking about.  Hepc is ONLY transmitted through blood to blood contact.  It MUST enter the bloodstream, otherwise no transmission. You can digest blood infected with hepc all day long and not become infected.  You can rub it on your skin (less any cuts or abrasions) and it is not absorbed through the skin.

What is sad is you received a gamma globulin vaccination needlessly because of a doctor's ignorance and that may very well have been your source of exposure.  


1225178 tn?1318980604
There is no vaccination for Hep c. I wonder what kind of shot it was that they gave you in reality. Trinity is right in all that she says.

It does explain why there is such a high percentage of infected people that have no idea where they got it. Who would think they were getting infected by the very people who are supposed to be taking care of their health?

Very sad!
Avatar universal
Hi Tooter,

Do you know whether you have HCV or just test positive for the antibodies?

You need a HCV RNA  test to confirm virus but even if you don't have HCV, you can't donate blood. About 20-25 % clear the virus on their own.

A couple of us here (myself and Greatbird) who have few other  risk factors have mentioned the gamma globulin shots we received long ago as possible vectors of transmission. That is my hepa's most plausible suggested scenario to explain my HCV.

GG was mostly (and still is, though is now screened for HCV) used on patients who have been exposed to hepatitis A (food/poop) or measles.

I was given two gamma globulin shots, one when I had a nasty case of the measles that affected my eyes and later when I got amoebic dysentery in my teens.

While Hepatitis C is not a food-borne illness, Hepatitis  A is, and that's what would have been the concern at the pot-luck. Unfortunately, the GG that was used prophylactically to prevent HAV at that time may have been how you contracted HCV.

Is this the first time you donated blood? If not, it should have shown up sooner, as blood products like gamma globulin have been screened for HCV since the early nineties.

Avatar universal
I think Tooter meant to say they were all exposed to hepatitis A, or which ever one can be transmitted through food. A gamma globulin injection was, and I think may still be, the protocol for those exposed to the other hepatitis. Unfortunately, prior to 1992 (or whenever it was they started screening blood) Hepatitis C was in the gamma globulin which is a blood product. The doctor wasn't off base, but the blood used to make the gamma globulin was tainted.
1253246 tn?1332073310
This is possibly the cause of exposure for me also.I had the GG shot back in the early 1980's when my younger sister came down with hep A. Everyone in the household got the GG shot and my hepc dr says that this is very likely where I got hep c since my brother tested  positive and has the virus also.From what Ive read the GG was nasty.Too bad we  depend on some healthcare that actually hurts us in the long run.If Id only known then???? cindy

Hep C was running rampant in the GG shots before it was screened fo it,along with alot of other diseases from what Ive researched.
Avatar universal
Hi Cindy,
So sorry to hear you got caught up in the HCV! From what I understand it is rampant among our population.
I only came across the gg info yesterday and thought, "Gee, that sounds familiair." I, too, had gg and I also had Rhogam which is given to pregnant woman who are Rh- when the father is Rh+ and I read there are implications on that as well. I had more than one of each in the 70's at Ireland Army Hospital (height of the Vietnam war when a lot of soldiers were returning with drug addiction and hepatitis).
I am now wondering why doctors always ask about blood transfusions and not this? And literature on risk factors does the same? Both are made from blood (i.e., are blood products). So now I am wondering how high the correlation really is; I can't find much literature on it online other than what is posted at HepC sites like this one. I was only diagnosed 33 years later! It is either a well kept secret or not very substantiated.
I also read that at some point the military started gg'ing soldiers before they went to Vietnam to prevent in hopes of preventing them from getting hepatitis and there is a controversy that many came down with HCV. I'm not necessarily a "conspiracy theorist"; however, given what goes on in politics today and news media "censorship" I am now very, very curious to find out more. Take care and be well! Laproch  
Avatar universal
" I am not concerned, just frustrated by the fact that I cannot donate blood to those who need it"

May I respectfully suggest that you should be at least concerned enough to find out for sure if you have hepC so that you can consider treatment if you have got it.  It is not a disease to be complacent about.

I also think I got hepc in the 1980's from a GG shot, given before I went to India in order to protect me from hepA.  Yes, very ironic.

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