Do not consume alcohol for 45 days after vaccination: Experts

Consumption of alcohol is known to compromise response of the immune system

January 17, 2021 07:33 am | Updated 07:33 am IST

Those who get vaccinated for COVID-19 should not consume alcohol till 45 days after vaccination, said M.K. Sudarshan, chairman of the State’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

He said consuming alcohol is not advisable after any vaccination. “Consumption of alcohol is known to affect the immune response. This has been seen in other vaccines. There is also a mention of this in the use of Sputnik V vaccine given in Russia,” he told The Hindu on Saturday after getting vaccinated.

Stating that India has come out with two indigenous vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin – with great difficulty, he said, “We should ensure that the benefits of vaccination is maximised.”

V. Ravi, who is also part of the TAC, explained that alcohol consumption may lead to impaired liver function in a person who has been vaccinated and the person’s immune response may be compromised. “In such a case, the person may not develop adequate immunogenicity and the purpose of vaccination is defeated,” he said.

Sudarshan Ballal, chairman of Manipal Hospitals, who is a part of the State’s COVID-19 expert committee, said binge drinking is not good at any time. “Alcohol decreases a person’s immunity in general. This was advised in Russia as alcohol consumption is a huge issue there. However, US scientists do not recommend abstinence from alcohol during vaccination. But, binge drinking is certainly a no-no,” he said.

Continue precautions

Calling upon people to continue following COVID-19 precautions even after vaccination, the doctor said, “I would like to warn that the vaccine does not mean you have to let your guard down and give up on a mask, washing hands and social distancing. These measures need to continue in spite of the vaccination.”

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