Should you avoid alcohol for two months after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
Russia has started to administer its COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, to doctors, soldiers, teachers, and social workers in Moscow. It has been proven to be 95 percent effective, but some Russian health officials have given the public one stipulation in order to ensure a successful vaccination—abstaining from alcohol for two months while getting the injections.
Anna Popova, head of the Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare, told a Russian radio station last week that people should not drink alcohol at least two weeks before getting the first of two Sputnik V injections and should avoid alcohol for 42 days after.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said, "Russians will have to refrain from visiting crowded places, wear face masks, use sanitizers, minimize contacts, and refrain from drinking alcohol or taking immunosuppressant drugs."
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Russia is the fourth-largest consumer of alcohol on the planet, and the average Russian national drinks 15.1 liters, or about 4 gallons of alcohol a year. Therefore, the request has been a little hard for some.
"This really bothers me,” said Elena Kriven, a resident of Moscow. "I'm unlikely to not be able to drink for 80 days and I reckon the stress on the body of giving up alcohol, especially during what is a festive period, would be worse than the (side effects of the) vaccine and its alleged benefits."
Not only is the alcohol ban difficult because of Russia's drinking habits, but also because the holidays are coming up. Some people, despite how little they drink, refuse to give up the temptation of celebrating New Year's and the ultimate end of 2020.
“Even I won’t sign up for this despite drinking rarely. Having a drink at New Year is sacred!” said Facebook user Konstantin Roninyo.
The reason health officials suggest an alcohol ban during COVID-19 vaccinations is because multiple scientific studies have found that alcohol suppresses the immune system, ultimately preventing people from fighting off the dormant disease and any side effects. However, Dr. Alex Ginstberg, the developer of the vaccine, has told the public that a glass of champagne every now and then won't hurt.
Ginstberg and most other health officials across the world have stated that although alcohol does limit the abilities of the immune system to properly heal after the vaccination, there is no need to completely ban alcohol.
Pfizer, the developer of the vaccine cleared for use in the United States, stated that there is no warning for people wishing to drink after their vaccine. According to most health officials, moderate consumption should be okay. However, to be extra safe, people should refrain from drinking alcohol three days after each of the two injections. This advice stands for people all over the world and is not specific to just the Russian vaccine.
So, what about you? Do you think you could have refrained from alcohol for two months if that were the case? Are you going to go on an alcohol ban after you get the vaccine? Let us know how you feel in the comments!