Medical experts warn that any persons intending to receive the COVID-19 vaccination should avoid drinking alcohol around the time of the shot as alcohol can reduce the body’s immune response to the vaccine.
What are the details?
According to a Monday report from the Daily Mail, emergency medicine specialist Dr. Ronx Ikhaira, who conducted a recent experiment, determined that after three glasses of an alcoholic beverage, lymphocyte cells in researchers’ bodies decreased by as much as 50%.
“Alcohol changes makeup of the trillions of microorganisms that live in the gut which play an important role in preventing the invasion of bacteria and viruses,” the outlet reported, noting that it “leads to the damage of immune cells in the blood, known as white blood cells, including lymphocytes, which send out antibodies to attack viruses.”
Professor Sheena Cruickshank, an immunologist at the University of Manchester, said that the lymphocyte reduction “could lower the effectiveness of the body’s immune response,” the Daily Mail pointed out.
Because of the drop in lymphocytes, Cruickshank has advised people who intend to receive the immunization to avoid alcohol in the immediate timeframe leading up to — and following — the shot.
“You need to have your immune system working tiptop 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,” Cruickshank said.
The outlet added, “Lymphocytes are of ‘fundamental importance’ in the immune system because they determine immune response to infectious microorganisms and other foreign substances, such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a team of scientists in Wuhan, China.”
In December, Russian scientists urged citizens seeking a COVID-19 vaccine to avoid alcohol for at least two months.
Russia began issuing its own two-dose coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V — which the country has claimed is at least 95% effective — in December, and delivered the injection with a warning to those citizens who like to imbibe: No alcohol for two months during the immunization process.
Citizens were also urged not to take any immunosuppressant drugs during the course of treatment.
Anna Popova, head of the nation’s consumer safety watchdog organization, said that those receiving the vaccine should avoid alcohol for at least two weeks before the first shot and then for an additional 42 days following the second shot, which is administered 21 days after the first shot.
“It’s a strain on the body,” Popova said. “If we want to stay healthy and have a strong immune response, don’t drink alcohol.”