Having a beer might seem like the perfect way to celebrate vaccination. But is a celebratory toast safe? Read on for the answer to, “Can you drink alcohol after a Covid vaccine?”
The U.S. is still the leading nation in terms of Covid cases and deaths. But new cases have declined sharply, thanks to the life-saving vaccines. To date, nearly 70% of the United States population (>160 million) has been fully vaccinated against Covid.
So, it’s time for a celebratory drink? Is it safe to celebrate with an alcoholic beverage? Below are some more questions you may have.
- Can you drink between two doses?
- How long should you refrain from drinking after the vaccine?
- Does alcohol use affect vaccine efficacy?
- Is moderate drinking OK if you had the Covid vaccine?
In this article, we will provide the most up-to-date answers to your questions. Besides, we will also discuss what public health agencies say about it.
Understanding the Link Between Vaccine Efficacy and Alcohol Use
Alcohol harms not only your liver but also your immune response, cells, and gut bacteria. As a result, chronic heavy use can make you more likely to catch infections, like Covid-19. Likewise, as an inflammatory substance, alcohol impairs your immune response to disease-causing microbes.
Only a few clinical trials have gone into detail about the covid vaccine and alcohol or evaluated how alcohol may affect your response to a vaccine. One such study found that response to the Hepatitis B vaccine was lower in alcohol users.
Interestingly, another study by a team of American researchers showed that moderate alcohol consumption increased the formation of antibodies in monkeys. However, they also warned that long-term excessive alcohol consumption will actually do the opposite.
Can You Drink Alcohol After Covid-19 Vaccine?
What Do Public Health Agencies Say?
As of writing this, both the CDC and FDA guidelines have no information about alcohol intake. They only warn you against the use if you have a history of allergy to vaccines. Likewise, all three vaccine manufacturers – Moderna, Pfizer BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson – do not mention alcohol in their detailed drug fact sheet.
The case with WHO is no different. WHO only states that consumption of alcohol does not protect against Covid.
Alcohol Use and Covid Vaccine: Recommendations Vary from One Country to Another
In December 2020, a Russian health official warned against drinking several weeks before and after getting the Sputnik vaccine. It is probably the first event that led to the ongoing concerns.
However, soon after, Alexander Gintsburg – one of the developers of Sputnik – tweeted that refraining from alcohol three days after each of the vaccine doses would suffice. Remember, the 3-day alcohol-free period applies to all vaccines.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in May this year said that currently, no evidence of alcohol’s effect on vaccine efficacy exists. Moreover, MHRA advised people to ask their doctors if they have any queries about it.
United States of America
Though the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA are silent, many infectious disease experts have voiced their opinions. Most experts agree that occasional drink is unlikely to affect vaccine efficacy. Contrarily, they recommend against heavy alcohol use, with or without the vaccine.
Can You Drink Alcohol After Covid Vaccine? According to the Experts
According to the experts, you should avoid heavy drinking at least seven days before dose 1 and 30 days after dose 2. The same recommendation applies to binge drinking. The CDC states that your body starts building immunity against Covid about 14 days after getting the coronavirus vaccine. So if you continue heavy drinking during that period, the effects of alcohol might have a negative response to vaccines.
Below, you can find what amounts of alcohol fall under moderate, binge, and heavy drinking.
Moderate Drinking: 2 drinks or less/day (men) and one drink or less/day (women).
Binge Drinking: 5 or more drinks (men) or four or more drinks (women), in about 120 minutes.
Heavy Drinking: > 4 drinks on any day or > 14 drinks/week (Men) and > 3 drinks on any day or >7 drinks/week.
In the U.S., one standard drink is equivalent to:
- 12 ounces of 5% beer.
- 5 ounces of wine (12%)
- 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits (40%)
Moreover, heavy drinking can make some vaccine side effects worse. These can include dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, and weakness.
- Limited knowledge about the Covid-19 vaccine and alcohol is available.
- Public health agencies have not issued any drinking guidelines before or after the Covid vaccine.
- Everyone should get vaccinated whether they drink or not.
- There is no evidence that alcohol affects vaccine efficacy. But the lack of evidence could be because no one has studied the association.
- Moreover, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
- It is best to avoid drinking before and after receiving Covid a vaccine. But if you have to drink, avoid drinking more than recommended by your doctor.
Can the use of alcohol affect the immune system?
High blood pressure and diabetes are more commonly seen in alcohol users. These conditions can make you more vulnerable to Covid. Moreover, alcohol impairs your immune system and may make Covid worse.
Can I have alcohol after the Covid vaccine?
Moderate alcohol use before or after the Covid vaccine won’t probably affect vaccine efficacy. That said, you should avoid heavy/binge drinking.
How soon after the Covid vaccine can I drink alcohol?
Moderate drinking about three days after the Covid vaccine appears harmless. That said, you should wait at least 14 days if you are a heavy drinker.
Is it safe to drink alcohol before the Covid vaccine?
Try to avoid alcohol at least seven days before the Covid vaccine. However, moderate use up to three days before the vaccine appears safe.
Part of a Bigger Problem?
The average person typically isn’t too concerned about drinking before or after getting the covid-19 vaccination. The reality is, if you find yourself asking “Can you drink alcohol after getting the covid vaccine?” then it might be time to re-evaluate your relationship with alcohol.
Opus Health in Orange County California has a treatment track specifically for people who are dependent on alcohol. We can help you break your dependency and keep you comfortable. Take in some sun, get some beach therapy, and get back on track for a healthier and happier life – Call us at 855-953-1345 to get started today!