As India started its third phase of vaccination drive for everyone above the age of 45 on April 1, a commonly asked question remains if taking the shot will mean you can no longer drink alcohol.
So should you avoid alcohol after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine?
No, you don’t have to abstain from alcohol only because you have taken the vaccine dose. Alcohol will not by itself render the vaccine ineffective against the novel coronavirus infection.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare clarified this point. It said, as per experts, there is no evidence of alcohol impairing the effectiveness of the vaccine.
What do other regulatory agencies say on drinking and vaccination?
Neither the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US nor the government or Public Health England in the UK have issued specific official advice on whether you can drink before, between, or after your shots.
“There is currently no evidence that drinking alcohol interferes with the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines. We would advise anyone concerned about this to talk to their healthcare professional,” the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the independent regulator in the UK said.
How many vaccines have been administered?
More than 574 million doses of various Covid-19 vaccines had been administered across 141 countries until March 31, data collected by Bloomberg mentioned. Americans had received 148 million doses, and nearly 23 per cent of the population had been covered. 35 million doses had been given in the UK, coverage of almost 26 per cent. In India, 62 million doses had been administered.
Out of these vast numbers, there have been no reports as yet of vaccine efficacy declining as a result of alcohol consumption. Doctors around the world largely agree that alcohol does not impede the formation of antibodies.
What are the side effects?
The two vaccines being administered in India are based on dead virus cells inserted into the body via 2 doses to develop long term immunity. When the vaccine is administered, the body's immune system attacks the cells. The first two or three days after taking the vaccine, people may experience symptoms like fever, headaches, cough, cold. This is the body's natural immune response and nothing to worry about. However, if you feel severely unwell, it's advisable to consult a doctor.