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You’re about to go get your covid vaccine shot, and you’re wondering if you can have alcohol just before or after the shot.

You’re not alone!

Are there any official guidelines - from India or abroad?

Is there anything to be learnt from the experience of those who have gotten vaccinated?

What do the doctors recommend?

Let’s find out.

What do Indian regulatory authorities say?

On the question of covid vaccine and alcohol, all the Covid-19 Vaccine FAQ on the Ministry of Health’s website says is:
As per experts, there is no evidence of alcohol impairing the effectiveness of the vaccine.”

What do the regulatory authorities in other countries say?

Neither America’s CDC nor the US government or Public Health England in the UK have issued specific official advice on whether you can drink before, between, or after your shots.

The CDC released guidelines for people who have been newly vaccinated, but there's no mention of alcohol.

What does the evidence arising out of the vaccination experience show?

As of mid-June, 225 crore covid vaccine shots have been given around the world.

Out of these huge numbers, there are no known reports as yet of vaccine efficacy declining as a result of alcohol consumption.

What are doctors saying though?

Here, the story changes a little.

In early Jan 2021, Sheena Cruickshank, an immunologist at the University of Manchester, said to a British newspaper that
You need to have your immune system working tip-top to have a good response to the vaccine. So if you're drinking the night before, or shortly afterwards, that's not going to help".

Dr Tania Elliott at NYU told an American health website that
"Vaccine side effects include muscle aches and pains and feeling under the weather. Compounding that with the side effects of alcohol runs the risk of making you feel worse."

The developer of the Sputnik V vaccine, Alexander Gintsburg, has tweeted advising refraining from alcohol for three days after each injection. He also added that this is standard advice for all vaccines.

Dr Jagadeesh Reddy from California agrees, he says
"Though there is no data on this, it is advisable to abstain or reduce alcohol intake for the first 48-72 hours after vaccination.

So, while there is no research or official guidelines on this, let’s listen to the experts.

Instead of knocking back a few post-vaccine, give your body time to recover. 

Focus on rest and hydration.

And similarly, it's best to let your body be at its best at the time of the shot - which is to say, keep it free of alcohol before your shot.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is accurate as of release time. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it's possible that some information and data have changed since publication. So, if you’re reading this article a long time after its publication, we encourage you to stay informed on the latest news and recommendations from WHO and MoHFW.

myUpchar does not encourage alcohol use.

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