Alcohol May Adversely Affect COVID Vaccine Effectiveness

Research has suggested that consuming alcohol ahead of getting the coronavirus vaccine could have an effect on the immune system.

According to studies from experts in Russia and the United Kingdom, researchers have warned people to avoid drinking alcohol for a short period of time before getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

However, there is currently no guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggesting people avoid drinking ahead of their vaccination.

“In general, if you consume lots of alcohol your immunity goes down, your likelihood of getting infections increases, and your response to the vaccine would decrease,”Valleywise Health physician Dr. Frank LoVecchio said.

LoVecchio said binge drinking could affect a person’s response to the COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC defines binge drinking as consuming five or more alcoholic drinks on occasion for men and four or more alcoholic drinks for women.

Consuming 15 or more drinks a week for men and eight or more drinks a week for women is considered heavy drinking.

“Just casual drinking would not be an issue, mild drinking would not be an issue with regard to forming antibody response or affecting your immune system,” LoVecchio said.

Regardless of its impact on vaccines, alcohol has been proven to cause inflammation in the gut and can potentially cause damage to the microorganisms that maintain immune system health.