As COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out, people receiving the vaccine are advised to refrain from alcohol use before and after inoculation to maximize the benefit of the vaccine.

Alcohol is a known immuno-depressant. Health experts are therefore advising people who will be getting the COVID-19 vaccine, which is being rolled out in several countries around the world, to avoid using alcohol before and after being vaccinated.

Avoiding alcohol is advised to keep the immune system in the best shape possible to receive the vaccine. People who consume alcohol, and especially heavy alcohol users, may face higher risk of having weakened immune systems due to alcohol consumption. Avoiding alcohol helps to build the appropriate immunity from COVID-19 through the vaccine.

…if we go with what we know about the body, the immune system and the effect of alcohol in general, it can be an immunosuppressant,” said Dr. Jeffrey Elder with LCMC, as per FOX 8 Live.

We just tell people to avoid alcohol around the time of vaccination, just to keep your body as healthy as possible during that time that it reacts appropriately to the vaccination.”

Dr. Jeffrey Elder, LCMC

India has issued an advisory for those who are getting the COVID-19 vaccine to refrain from any alcohol use till 45 days after being vaccinated. This is the general advisory issued for any vaccine in India.

The immune response to the vaccine will be hindered if alcohol is consumed…As per the current data, the antibodies are developed 14 days after the second vaccine dose. Hence, it is better to stay away from drinking for 45 days,” said Dr. M K Sudarshan, Chairman of the COVID-19 Task Force in India, as per Bangalore Mirror.

Dr. M K Sudarshan, Chairman, COVID-19 Task Force, India

Curiously, even Big Alcohol’s own front group Drinkaware is advising people who are getting the vaccine to refrain from using alcohol.

As well as weakening the immune system, alcohol consumption increases people’s risk for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Both of these increase risk of severe progression of COVID-19 and death from the virus. This is one reason why the World Health Organization early on in the pandemic advised to refrain from using alcohol during pandemic. The WHO elaborates on the risk of alcohol consumption during the pandemic in a comprehensive fact sheet about alcohol and COVID-19.

[This article was updated on January 20, 2021 as per new information from Bangalore Mirror.]


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