Will Alcohol Affect Covid-19 Vaccine Efficacy? Russia Warns Citizens Not to Drink for 2 Months

A Russian expert said that the intake of alcohol needs to stop at least two weeks before the vaccination.

Wear masks, use sanitizers, follow social distancing and wash hands frequently -- these are the safety measures that experts have been asking people to follow even after taking a Coronavirus vaccine. But Russian officials added a new recommendation for the citizens and they want people to strictly follow it for two months.

The officials warned people to avoid alcohol for two months after receiving the Coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V. The warning came from Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova, who said this during an interview. Golikova added that Russians will have to take extra precautions during the 42 days, which is the time required for the vaccine to become effective.

Russia Coronavirus Vaccine
Russia Coronavirus Vaccine YouTube Grab/Sputnik

Can Alcohol Hamper Effectiveness of Vaccine?

According to experts mixing alcohol with certain medications can cause vomiting, headaches, nausea, drowsiness and fainting. It can even put people at risk of internal bleeding, heart problems and difficulties in breathing. Drinking alcohol can also make the side effects of a particular medication worse or even cause new symptoms.

However, the Russian minister told the TASS that Russians should refrain from visiting crowded places, wear face masks, minimize contacts, use sanitizers and avoid drinking alcohol or taking immunosuppressant drugs.

Anna Popova, the head of Rospotrebnadzor, Russia's consumer safety watchdog also told Moscow Times: "It's a strain on the body. If we want to stay healthy and have a strong immune response, don't drink alcohol". She also added that the intake of alcohol needs to stop at least two weeks before the vaccination. This warning is very tough-to-swallow for the residents of Russia which is one of the world's heaviest drinking countries. According to data, Russians consume 15.1 liters of alcohol per year on an average.

No drinks for two months Pixabay

Russian health authorities have estimated that 100,000 people have already been vaccinated using Sputnik in the country, including trial participants and members of the military. The country has reported more than 2,518,000 cases and over 44,000 deaths related to novel Coronavirus. Russia is now the fourth most infected country in the world.

However, health officials claimed that the controversial vaccine, Sputnik V, is 90 percent effective. But as per some reports, medical workers who took the vaccine shot have come down with SARS-CoV-2 caused disease. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also once praised the vaccine, reportedly refused to take the dose. According to an independent polling institute the Levada Center, only 27 percent of Russians believe in the Sputnik V vaccine, which is developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

This article was first published on December 9, 2020
Related topics : Coronavirus