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According to experts, drinking alcohol, especially heavy drinking, may reduce your body's ability to build immunity in response to a virus. Pixabay

Alcohol intake should be avoided after getting the first jab of the Covid-19 vaccine for some days and abstinence should also be maintained after the second jab for some days, health experts said on Monday, as alcohol can hinder the effect of the vaccine.

According to experts, drinking alcohol, especially heavy drinking, may reduce your body’s ability to build immunity in response to a virus.


“First of all, consumption of alcohol is not advisable at all in any condition. But, drinking alcohol can reduce your body’s ability to build immunity in response to a virus,” Satish Kaul, HOD and Director, Internal Medicine, Narayana Hospital, Gurugram told IANS.

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According to healthline.com, a Russian health official last month advised citizens being vaccinated with the country’s Sputnik V vaccine that they should abstain from alcohol for two months.

However, the developer of the vaccine, Alexander Gintsburg, later commented that this advice is too extreme. In a tweet from the Sputnik V account, Gintsburg advised refraining from alcohol for three days after each injection, guidance that he says applies to all vaccines.

“Excessive alcohol intake can reduce the immune responses to the vaccine. Since Russians are known for heavy drinking, their government has advised them to avoid drinking for two weeks prior to the first dose and six weeks after the second dose.

“The Sputnik vaccine is given in two doses 21 days apart. Occasional glass of wine or beer will not interfere with the immune response,” said Sudhir Bhandari, principal and controller at the SMS Medical College in Jaipur.

Currently, India is banking on two vaccines — Serum Institute of India’s ‘Covishield’ and Bharat BioTech’s ‘Covaxin’ — and four more are in the pipeline to be rolled out in the country, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. To date, a total of 447 Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) have been reported in the last two days of the massive inoculation drive against Covid-19 that is now underway in the country.

“The consumption of alcohol, sleepless nights or any other unhealthy activities like smoking etc. should be avoided in order to get maximum benefit of any vaccine,” Kaul informed. People who have taken the vaccine must ensure a healthy lifestyle and avoid binge drinking around the time of the vaccination.

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“Some neurological symptoms like dizziness have been reported after vaccination, therefore, it is suggested not to take alcohol for 24-48 hours after vaccination so that patient can appreciate any side effect of vaccination,” said Manoj Goel, Director, Pulmonology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.

“To ensure healthy lifestyle, alcohol consumption should be avoided,” added Harshal R Salve, Associate Professor at Centre for Community Medicine, AIIMS. (IANS)


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