Does moderate alcohol intake improve vaccine response?
Looking to understand the relation between vaccination and alcohol Image: The Bridge Chronicle

Does moderate alcohol intake improve vaccine response?

The Bridge Chronicle looks into the body's response to vaccine and alcohol

The year 2021 has turned out to be much worse than the year 2020. Even with the vaccination drive, the country is currently witnessing a new wave of Covid-19 cases. India is currently in a state of complete disaster as the country loses millions of people to oxygen and medical shortages.

But today, as the vaccination drive begins for people above the age of 18 there is a new question about vaccination. Is there a relation between alcohol? and can I consume alcohol after taking the vaccine?

This question until now was naturally not relevant as the vaccination drive in the country was only open for senior citizens and people with comorbidities.

But as the vaccination becomes available to younger people. It is important to understand how alcohol affects immunity and whether it is safe to drink alcohol after being vaccinated.

It is obvious, that your body's response to alcohol naturally depends on how much you consume. But as of now, there is no evidence that suggests having a drink or two can render any of the Covid-19 vaccines.

"You need to have your immune system working tip-top 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," Sheena Cruickshank, PhD, an immunologist at the University of Manchester, told UK Metro.

However, as we already know, alcohol if not taken in moderate amount has deteriorating effects on the body. Studies also suggest, that heavy alcohol consumption over a long time, can suppress our immune system.

How long does it take for the vaccine to produce antibodies?

Studies suggest, that after taking a vaccine, it can take weeks to generate the desired level of antibodies, that can help protect the body. It is also important to consider, that the vaccine often produces some reactions such as fever, soar throat, etc. The consumption of alcohol may hinder the effectiveness of the vaccine as it will affect the body that is experiencing such reactions.

What do the Ministry of Health and Family welfare say?

According to the answers provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The answer to should you avoid alcohol after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine is that "as per experts, there is no evidence of alcohol impairing the effectiveness of the vaccine."

What do studies suggest?

According to a study titled: Could moderate alcohol intake be recommended to improve vaccine responses? Moderate alcohol consumption may exert positive effects including decreased mortality and improved cardiovascular disease and insulin sensitivity. The study also suggests evidence that also supports an immune-boosting effect of moderate alcohol.

Moderate alcohol consumption, defined as having one drink per day for women, and up to two drinks for men was found to have benefits on the immune system.

It is important to remember

The study also clears out that regular consumption of three or more drinks in a day is linked to significant organ damage, adverse birth outcomes and increased morbidity and mortality. Additionally, alcohol abuse or binge drinking is also linked to adverse health outcomes and suppression of the immune system. According to NIAAA in 2004, binge drinking is defined as — four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men in two hours.

What do experts suggest?

M.K. Sudarshan, chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) told The Hindu that it is not advisable for people to consume alcohol after taking a vaccine. He also referred to the Russian officials who advised people to not consume alcohol for at least 45 days after vaccination.

As we live through a series of lockdown and a pandemic, it is necessary that we continue to take all measures to protect ourselves at all times and get vaccinated as early as possible. It is important to remember, that alcohol consumption in any form should be avoided as it has harmful effects on the body. The reporting of this article only mentions the study and the suggestions of by an expert. We as a publication do not necessarily endorse any point of view.

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