Author: Thomas Roth
Last Updated: 2/09/2022
Can You Drink Alcohol After Getting the Covid-19 Vaccine?
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What are the Effects of Alcohol Usage After Covid-19 Vaccine?
The effects of alcohol usage after the Covid-19 vaccine vary depending on how much alcohol is consumed. Moderate drinking (1-3 alcoholic beverages) doesn’t cause adverse effects after the Covid-19 vaccine for most people. Still, moderate drinking and binge drinking can lead to adverse effects and a weakened immune response to the vaccine. Alcohol affects the body in many ways and can reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine when consumed in large amounts after taking the Covid-19 vaccine.
What are the Studies About the Covid Vaccine and Alcohol Usage?
When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Covid-19 vaccine, the organization did not look at how alcohol impacted the Covid-19 vaccine. While the FDA did not directly address alcohol, several studies have been conducted to further understand how alcohol impacts Covid-19 vaccine efficacy.
One study published in the Oxford University Press found that people who had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of less than .08% didn’t have changes in their immune response to the Covid-19 vaccine. Another study found that chronic alcohol consumption can reduce estrogen levels, which can reduce the immune response in women.
Some top researchers in virology and virus researchers have also conducted research with mixed results. The Director of Center of Virus Research at the University of California (Ilhem Messaoudi) states that moderate alcohol consumption after the Covid-19 vaccine doesn’t lead to adverse reactions or reduced efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine. On the other hand, Ilhem Messaoudi suggests that heavy drinking after the vaccine can lead to a weakened immune response and more severe Covid-19 vaccine side effects. Adverse reactions occur because alcohol impacts several biological systems in the body, including the immune system.
The consensus of these studies is that moderate alcohol consumption is not problematic but chronic drinking and heavy drinking after Covid-19 vaccination can lead to adverse effects.
How Does Alcohol and Covid Vaccine Affect the Immune System?
The Covid-19 vaccines generate an immune response in the body. Covid-19 vaccines work by helping the body develop immunity to the virus that causes Covid-19 illness. While vaccines help the body, they don’t expose the body to Covid-19. Instead, the vaccines provide the body with memory T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that can identify the spike protein found in Covid-19. When the immune system detects the spike protein the immune system is prepared to dispose of them.
There are a few types of Covid-19 vaccines but the main types are messenger mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna vaccines) and vector vaccines (Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine). The mRNA vaccines deliver material from the Covid-19 virus and give the body instructions for how to destroy it. The viral vector vaccines contain a different virus that’s modified. Inside the shell of the modified virus, there is material from the virus that causes Covid-19 infection. When the vector reaches the cells it instructs the body to generate an immune response to destroy it.
While the Covid-19 vaccines help increase immunity against Covid-19, alcohol has the opposite effects. Numerous studies show how alcohol can affect the immune system. Alcohol consumption can impair the immune system and leave people more susceptible to infections. While moderate alcohol consumption (less than 12 alcoholic beverages per week) doesn’t typically cause these reactions, heavy drinking (binge drinking) and alcoholic behavior make infections like Covid-19 worse.
Does Usage of Alcohol After the Covid Vaccine Cause any Diseases?
No evidence suggests alcohol usage after the Covid-19 vaccination leads to diseases. That said, heavy drinking after the Covid-19 vaccination can lead to a negative response to the vaccine and a weakened immune system. Having a weakened immune system increases the risk of developing diseases like cancer, the common cold, the flu, and other infections.
How Long After the Covid Vaccine can You Drink Alcohol?
According to Dr. Mark Loafman (Cook County Health), there’s no designated period that people need to wait before consuming alcohol after the Covid-19 vaccination. Loafman makes this assertion based on the few studies that have been conducted on alcohol consumption and Covid-19 vaccination. While alcohol hasn’t been directly measured in many Covid-19 vaccination studies, some people have consumed alcohol without adverse effects.
Still, the research on heavy drinking is clear. People who have received the Covid-19 vaccination should wait until vaccine side effects have subsided before consuming large quantities of alcohol. Alcohol can weaken the immune system when consumed in large quantities, so avoiding heavy drinking is essential.
How Much Alcohol is Safe After the Covid Vaccine?
Based on the research, moderate drinking after the Covid-19 vaccination doesn’t lead to adverse effects. So, how much alcohol is safe to drink? The research suggests that having a BAC of less than .08% is safe after the Covid-19 vaccination. Still, having a BAC that’s greater than .08% can lead to adverse reactions and more severe vaccine side effects. Furthermore, a BAC of .08% or higher can reduce the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Can You Drink Alcohol Before the Covid Vaccine?
Yes, you can drink alcohol before the Covid-19 vaccine but there are some factors to consider. While it’s safe to consume alcohol the day before getting Covid-19, people shouldn’t show up to their Covid-19 vaccination appointment intoxicated. People shouldn’t show up to the appointment intoxicated because people who administer the Covid-19 vaccine need consent before giving someone the vaccine; they’re unable to get consent if an individual is intoxicated.
People who struggle with alcohol abuse disorder (AUD) should also speak with their healthcare provider before taking the vaccine. Alcoholism leads to a weaker immune system in most people with the condition, which can lead to negative vaccine reactions. Therefore, caution needs to be taken in these situations. Overall, alcohol consumption in the days leading up to Covid-19 vaccination typically isn’t an issue.
Can the Use of Alcohol Affect How Well a Covid Vaccine Works?
Yes, the use of alcohol can affect how well a Covid-19 vaccine works. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), moderate drinking before or after the Covid-19 vaccination doesn’t lead to reduced efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine. While some studies published in the National Institute of Health on rats and monkeys suggest that moderate alcohol consumption can improve immune function, more research is needed in this area to develop a firm conclusion.
On the other hand, some viral vector Covid-19 vaccinations have a side effect that can cause cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST); this side effect is rare and has only occurred in 9 out of 200 million vaccinations. According to the Italian Society on Alcohol, alcohol reduces platelet function and can increase the risk of developing CVST after the Covid-19 vaccination.
Can People With Covid Drink Alcohol?
While people with Covid-19 can drink alcohol, research shows that alcohol weakens the immune system. For this reason, drinking alcohol during a Covid-19 infection can prolong symptoms and increase the time it takes to recover from the illness. While moderate drinking doesn’t impact the outcome of recovery as much as heavy drinking, alcohol should be avoided. Avoiding alcohol gives your body a chance to fight Covid-19 more effectively.
Does Alcohol Destroy Covid?
No, alcohol does not destroy Covid-19. While alcohol can sterilize surfaces outside of the body, it doesn’t have the same sterilizing properties in the body. While there is some misinformation about alcohol’s effects on Covid-19, the research is clear and proves that alcohol doesn’t destroy Covid-19.
What are the Other Harms of Alcohol?
Alcohol Harms the brain and body in many ways. While occasional alcohol consumption doesn’t lead to negative effects as often as drinking large quantities of alcohol, consuming alcohol harms the body. The harms of alcohol include an increased risk of heart disease, liver disease, general infection, cancer, and death. Alcohol leads to these increased risks because it damages the liver, brain, and other biological systems in the body.