Recommendation to Avoid Alcohol After COVID-19 Vaccination Confuses Doctors

Recommendation to Avoid Alcohol After COVID-19 Vaccination Confuses Doctors

Russia recently issued an advisory stating that alcohol should be avoided for up to 45 days post receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. However, this advisory has confused many doctors in India. 

The country has approved two vaccines for emergency use, one produced by the Serum Institute of India (Covishield) and the other by Bharat Biotech (Covaxin). A member of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and a technical advisor to the State Government, Dr Subhash Salunkhe said that there is no mention of alcohol in the printed material currently available for the two vaccines. 

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 “I checked medical literature for any connection between consumption of alcohol and Covid-19 vaccine and only found a casual mention of alcohol’s ability to depress one’s immunity,” Dr Salunkhe said.

“It seems like a common-sense statement: Just as you shouldn’t drink and drive, so also you shouldn’t drink on the day you get vaccinated,” he added. 

It’s worth noting that there’s no scientific evidence showing that consumption of alcohol reduces the effectiveness of the vaccine in any way, leading to confusion among medical professionals. 

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“One isn’t sure about the 45-day period, but it would certainly be prudent to avoid alcohol for a few days before and after the vaccination,” Endocrinologist and member of the State’s COVID-19 task force, Dr Shashank Joshi said. 

The discussion on alcohol with regard to the vaccines began a couple of weeks ago when a Russian minister said that consumption of alcohol should be avoided for 45 days after vaccination. The reasoning given was to make sure the body immunity isn’t compromised during the process of generating COVID-19 antibodies via the vaccine. 

Following the statement by the minister, a developer involved in the making of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, Alexander Gintsburg, recommended staying away from alcohol for three days after each injection. Though he told reporters that around 300 grams of vodka can suppress antibody production, he assured that a glass of champagne should be fine. 

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