Can you drink alcohol after Covid vaccine? Latest guidance as UK continues rollout of Oxford and Pfizer jabs

Charity Drinkaware recommend holding off from consuming alcohol immediately after receiving vaccine dose

With the number of Covid-19 jabs being administered increasing daily, it's only natural for questions around the vaccine to arise.

One of which could be of interest to those hoping to pop the champagne in celebration of their vaccination against the deadly virus.

Can you drink alcohol after having the Covid vaccine?

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Can you drink alcohol after Covid vaccine? Latest guidance for those having an Oxford or Pfizer jab. (Pic: PA)Can you drink alcohol after Covid vaccine? Latest guidance for those having an Oxford or Pfizer jab. (Pic: PA)
Can you drink alcohol after Covid vaccine? Latest guidance for those having an Oxford or Pfizer jab. (Pic: PA)
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Here's what the leading scientists from around the world have had to say on the matter.

Does alcohol affect the Covid vaccine?

The independent medical advisory panel for alcohol education charity, Drinkaware, has issued advice on the impact of drinking alcohol and getting vaccinated.

The panel's chair Dr Fiona Sim urged people to follow the guidelines to stop the spread of the virus.

She said: “Then, do get vaccinated if you are offered a Covid-19 vaccine. This is regardless of whether you ever drink any alcohol or not.

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“We advise that you don't drink any alcohol for at least two days before, and at least two weeks after, you've been vaccinated, to try to ensure your immune system is at its best to respond to the vaccine and protect you.”

Research around the effect alcohol has on the human body's response to the Covid-19 vaccination is still being collected and assessed.

What effect does alcohol have on the immune system?

The panel says there is some evidence to suggest that drinking alcohol, especially heavy drinking, can reduce your body's ability to build immunity in response to a virus.

"If you are a regular heavy drinker, the risks to you of becoming seriously ill if you do contract Covid-19 are particularly high, so please do keep your appointment for vaccination if you are offered one," said Dr Sim.

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"Chronic heavy drinking reduces immune protection, and specifically for respiratory infections, which includes Covid-19.

"For greatest benefit from the vaccine, it is prudent for you not to drink any alcohol for a few days before, and for at least two weeks after, you've been vaccinated.

"And if you do contract Covid-19, please do not drink any alcohol until you have recovered fully, to protect your immune system to allow it to fight the virus, as well as minimising the risk of serious liver disease in the longer term."

It is recommended that no more than 14 units of alcohol is consumed each week by any adult man or woman, and that at least three days a week are drink-free.

Should I not drink at all if I am getting the vaccine?

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Research conducted by Russian scientists, who were behind the Sputnik V vaccine, found that drinking alcohol while receiving any Covid vaccine could cause issues.

Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Moscow-based Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, warned people against drinking alcohol after they have been injected.

Speaking to New Scientists magazine, he said: "We strongly recommend refraining from alcohol for three days after each injection."

"Of course, we are not talking about a complete ban on alcohol during vaccination.

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"This is just a reasonable limitation of consumption until the body has formed its own immune response to coronavirus infection.

And added: “It is important to understand that excessive alcohol consumption can significantly reduce immunity and therefore reduce the effectiveness of vaccination or even make it meaningless.

"Moreover, this is true not only for Sputnik V, but also for any other vaccine.”

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