CORONAVIRUS VACCINE

Can you drink alcohol after taking a covid-19 vaccine?

The rollout of coronavirus vaccinations continues across the United States, and the World Health Organization has issued guidelines on drinking after the shot.

Can you drink alcohol after taking a covid-19 vaccine?
FREDERIC J. BROWN AFP

Nearly 122,000,000 people in the United States are partially or fully vaccinated, and after receiving a dose, they may ask, can I have a celebratory drink?

So far, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not released any concrete information on the topic. However other health experts have advised against it.

Can I drink alcohol before getting a covid-19 vaccine?

In an interview with Health Magazine, Dr. Tania Elliott of NYU Langone Health, stated that “Vaccine side effects include muscle aches and pains and feeling under the weather. Compounding that with the side effects of alcohol runs the risk of making you feel worse.”

Before vaccinations were made available to the public, the World Health Organization (WHO) released guidance on drinking during the pandemic. The WHO stressed that “Alcohol use, especially heavy use, weakens the immune system and thus reduces the ability to cope with infectious diseases.”

Following similar logic, some health officials suggest not drinking for a few days leading up to or after your vaccination to ensure that your body can quickly create an immune response and protect you more effectively.

What about drinking and socializing after I have been vaccinated?

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said in March that scientific studies are being conducted to see if and how those who are vaccinated transmit the virus.

Dr. Fauci said he hopes this research “will help inform science-based decisions about mask use and about social distancing post-vaccination.”

Currently, the CDC recommends that those who are vaccinated continue to “avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings.” Parties and other social gatherings where alcohol is available can makes people more susceptible to risk-taking behavior and thus could lead to an increase in the rate of transmission.

So, while it is understandable that people are itching to return to normal life, it is not advised since none of the vaccines available are one hundred percent effective in preventing a covid positive diagnosis. Until we know more about the relationship between vaccination and transmission it is still important that individuals, even those who are vaccinated, continue to take necessary precautions to avoid spreading the virus.

Further guidance for fully vaccinated individuals is available from the CDC.