Alcohol consumption with COVID vaccine in Indian context with Covishield Covaxin Jabs

Since the vaccination drive began in India on 16 January 2021, 23.88 crore vaccine doses have been administered up to June 8, according to the govt sources.

These include the first and second doses of the currently-approved vaccines, namely Covishield (Oxford AstraZeneca) vaccine and Covaxin (Bharat Biotech)

Apart from the possible side effects, one question that is on the minds of many is:

Is it safe to consume alcohol after taking the vaccine?

To answer this question, let’s put certain inputs in perspective, as have been shared by medical experts

“First of all, consumption of alcohol is not advisable at all in any condition. But, drinking alcohol can reduce your body’s ability to build immunity in response to a virus,” Satish Kaul, HOD and Director, Internal Medicine, Narayana Hospital, Gurugram was quoted as saying by IANS.

“The consumption of alcohol, sleepless nights or any other unhealthy activities like smoking etc. should be avoided in order to get the maximum benefit of any vaccine,” Kaul informed.

People who have taken the vaccine must ensure a healthy lifestyle and avoid binge drinking around the time of the vaccination.

“Some neurological symptoms like dizziness have been reported after vaccination, therefore, it is suggested not to take alcohol for 24-48 hours after vaccination so that patient can appreciate any side effect of vaccination,” said Manoj Goel, Director, Pulmonology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.

“To ensure a healthy lifestyle, alcohol consumption should be avoided,” added Harshal R Salve, Associate Professor at Centre for Community Medicine, AIIMS.

According to some, alcohol can interfere with the development of a strong immune response and probably have an adverse effect on the production of antibodies.

A few others claim that drinking alcohol within and before 45 days each of getting vaccinated will reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine and the desired results may not be achieved.

Some health experts say that alcohol intake should be avoided after getting the first jab of the Covid-19 vaccine for some days and abstinence should also be maintained after the second jab for some days.

Drinking alcohol, especially heavy drinking, may reduce your body’s ability to build immunity in response to a virus, they add.

According to the website of the Serum Institute of India, Pune, which manufactures Covishield (Oxford AstraZeneca) vaccine:

Q. Whether a person after receiving the vaccine can consume alcohol/ smoke?

A. There is no recommendation regarding avoidance of alcohol/ smoking following vaccination.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare posted on its website:

Q. Should you avoid alcohol after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?

A. As per experts, there is no evidence of alcohol impairing the effectiveness of the vaccine.

The Statesman unequivocally does not endorse, promote, or encourage alcohol consumption in any manner whatsoever.

This write up is only for academic purposes and to share the feedback of medical professionals and the Union Health Ministry.

Alcohol is injurious to health and should be avoided.

The Statesman also very strongly urges that you follow COVID appropriate behaviour at all times, both indoors and outdoors and strictly take the following precautions:

Don’t go out unless absolutely necessary

Avoid crowded places

Maintain social/physical distance (minimum six feet as recommended)

Always try to keep your ambience well-ventilated

Wear a mask, covering your nose and mouth properly

Wash your hands at regular intervals

Follow cough/sneeze etiquette

Source –

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