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Avoid alcohol during Covid-19 vaccination: Experts explain why

By Longjam Dineshwori | Updated:Tue, January 19, 2021 9:53am

Besides refraining from alcohol, one should also avoid other unhealthy activities like smoking and sleepless nights order to get maximum benefit of the Covid-19 vaccine, suggest health experts.

If you have received the first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, stay away from alcohol for some time. Experts say alcohol can reduce the effect of the vaccine. Alcohol abstinence should also be maintained after the second jab for some days for the same reason.  Also Read - Centre fixes COVID-19 vaccination price at Rs 250 per dose for private vaccination centres, but with a rider

Drinking alcohol, especially heavy drinking, 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.  Also Read - Rs 100 service charge plus COVID-19 vaccine cost: This is the price of getting the shot at a private centre

Besides refraining from alcohol, one should also avoid other unhealthy activities like smoking and sleepless nights order to get maximum benefit of any vaccine, Kaul added.  Also Read - US panel endorses single dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for EUA: FDA says it’s safe

Alexander Gintsburg, the developer of Sputnik V vaccine, also advised people to refrain from alcohol for three days after getting each shot of the vaccine. This guidance applies to all vaccines, he said in a tweet from the Sputnik V account. Like most Covid-19 vaccines, the Sputnik vaccine is given in two doses 21 days apart.

Sudhir Bhandari, principal and controller at the SMS Medical College in Jaipur, also warned that excessive alcohol intake can reduce the immune responses to the vaccine. Talking to IANS, Bhandari said that the Russian government has advised its citizens to avoid drinking for two weeks prior to the first dose and six weeks after the second dose. But he opined that occasional glass of wine or beer may not interfere with the immune response.

According to Manoj Goel, Director, Pulmonology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, some people have reported neurological symptoms like dizziness after vaccination. Therefore, he suggested people not to take alcohol for 24-48 hours after vaccination so that any side effect of vaccination can be identified.

Harshal R Salve, Associate Professor at Centre for Community Medicine, AIIMS also advises people who have taken the vaccine to ensure a healthy lifestyle and avoid drinking.

India launched its nationwide Covid-19 vaccination on January 16, using two vaccines - Serum Institute's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. Both vaccines require two doses, given 28 days apart, and the effectiveness of the vaccines begins 14 days after the second dose. Bharat Biotech has claimed that two doses of Covaxin may induce immunity for 6-12 months.

Published:Tue, January 19, 2021 9:00am | Updated:Tue, January 19, 2021 9:53am

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