It's my understanding that the Hep C virus is so complex and varied, even barring mutation it would be nearly impossible to vaccinate against. Stephen Buhner describes RNA viruses such as Hep C to be like a swarm of bees, so there's not just one bug but MANY.
Hep C can live outside the body at room temp for up to 72 hours I believe. Seeing as it's blood transmitted, it would be hard to get it from anything but a sharp object. Blood transfusions (back in the day) and dirty needles are the most common ways of contracting it I think.
I find it very interesting that many viruses and perhaps esp Hep C can have absolutely no discernible negative effect in one person's body and wreak havoc in another's. And so I always focus on helping the individual's body adapt rather than destroying the virus.
My partner has Hep C, and has had it for something like 35 years, he'd had it nearly 30 years before he had any symptoms and then he just had annoying joint pain. After interferon, it's a different and far messier story (a shame they don't tell you about long term side effects when they prep you for treatment, eh?).
I've worked with several cases of Hep C now and a couple cases of B as well as a lot of chronic hep brought on my solvent abuse.
The great thing about almost all of these varying liver ailments is that they respond quite well to treatment, especially diet and herbal and stress/anger reduction. I've seen cases go from near cirrhosis to nearly symptom free. I've been amazed in the last couple years to see how much simply helping the person to view the virus as an ally to wholeness has helped the immune system chill, the virus back off and symptoms recede.
A hep c vaccine for people in the healthcare field would be most helpful I'm sure, not something one really wants as an occupational hazard. It does seem unlikely though. I read something about a year ago that talked about how researchers were befuddled by their inability to reliably transfer the virus via blood from one monkey to the next. Curiouser and curiouser.
Ok, that's really off-topic from vaccinations but liver stuff is one of my specialties