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New York Times

Can I take alcohol after COVID vaccination?

After many years and many expectations, COVID-19 vaccination can be a cause of celebration. This can also mean pouring a drink and toasting new immunity. But can alcohol interfere with your immune response? Simply put, it depends on how much you drink. Sign up for The Morning Newsletter for the New York Times. There is no evidence that taking one or two glasses may reduce the effectiveness of current COVID vaccines. Several studies have found that in the long run, small or moderate amounts of alcohol can actually benefit the immune system by reducing inflammation. On the other hand, experts say that high alcohol consumption, especially over a long period of time, can suppress the immune system and interfere with the vaccine response. Anything that interferes with the immune response is a source of concern, as it can take weeks from a COVID shot for the body to produce antibodies at a level of protection against the new coronavirus. “If you’re a really moderate drinker, you’re not at risk of drinking before or after vaccination,” said Ilhem Messaoudi, director of the Virus Research Center at the University of California, Irvine. The effect of alcohol on the immune response. “But make sure you understand what moderate drinking really means. The effects on all biological systems, including the immune system, are very serious and soon after you leave that moderate zone. It is dangerous to drink a lot of alcohol because it occurs in the body. ”Moderate drinking is generally defined as less than 2 drinks a day for men and up to 1 drink a day for women. Is defined as 4 or more drinks a day for men and 3 or more drinks for women. Note that one “standard” drink is considered to be 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of spirited liquor, or 12 ounces of beer. Some of the first concerns about alcohol and COVID vaccination spread after Russian health officials warned in December that people should avoid alcohol for two weeks before being vaccinated and then stop drinking for another 42 days. started. Authorities argued that alcohol could interfere with the body’s ability to develop immunity to the new coronavirus, Reuters reports. Her warning caused a fierce backlash in Russia, one of the highest drinking rates in the world. In the United States, some experts say they have heard similar concerns about whether it is safe to take before and after vaccination. Dr. Angela Hulett, an associate professor of infectious diseases who leads the COVID infectious disease team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said: “Of course, people who are vaccinated with these vaccines want to make sure they are doing everything right to maximize their immune response.” Currently used by the Food and Drug Administration. The approved COVID vaccine clinical trials did not specifically investigate whether alcohol had any effect on the effectiveness of the vaccine, Hulett said. There may be more information about it in the future. But so far, most of what is known, including studies investigating how alcohol affects the human immune system and whether it interferes with the immune response of other vaccinated animals. Comes from a previous study. One of the findings from the study is that high alcohol intake impairs the immune response and increases susceptibility to bacterial and viral infections. It prevents immune cells from migrating to the site of infection and performing tasks such as destroying viruses, bacteria, and infected cells. Pathogens are more likely to invade cells and cause many other problems. In contrast, moderate drinking does not seem to have this effect. In one study, scientists exposed 391 people to five different respiratory viruses and found that moderate drinkers were less likely to catch a cold, but smokers did not. In another study, Messaoudi and colleagues provided rhesus monkeys with alcoholic beverages for seven months and examined how the body responded to a vaccine against the poxvirus. Like humans, some rhesus monkeys enjoy alcohol and drink a lot, while others are less interested and limited to a small amount. Researchers have found that animals that are chronically drunk are less responsive to the vaccine. “They had an immune response that was almost nonexistent,” said Messaoudi. However, animals that consumed only moderate amounts of alcohol showed the strongest response to the vaccine, even when compared to Teetotalists who did not consume alcohol at all. A similar pattern was seen in studies with rats. Animals that consume large amounts of alcohol have a weaker or no immune response to infection compared to animals that consume moderate amounts of alcohol. Other studies suggest that moderate drinking by people lowers inflammatory markers in the blood. Another reason to reduce alcohol intake is that heavy drinking and subsequent hangovers can increase the side effects of the COVID vaccine, such as fever, malaise, and body aches, and make you feel sick. Of the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Hewlett chose not to drink after receiving the COVID vaccine. But she said that people should be free to absorb as long as they drink to the extent that it makes sense. “Drinking a glass of champagne probably won’t block your immune response,” she said. “I think it’s okay to have a moderate amount of festive drinks.” This article was originally published in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company