Yes, you can take your Covid-19 shot and have a drink too. (Just don’t overdo it.)

Covid-19 vaccine: Do you need to avoid alcohol after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine? What do regulatory agencies say on drinking and vaccination?

As India starts vaccinating everyone above the age of 45 from April 1, a commonly asked question remains whether taking the jab will mean you can no longer drink alcohol.

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So should you avoid alcohol after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine?

There is no need to abstain from alcohol only because you have taken your shot of the vaccine. Alcohol will not by itself render the vaccine ineffective against the novel coronavirus infection.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare clarified this point early on, and you can check the government’s advisory in the FAQs [ https://www.mohfw.gov.in/covid_vaccination/vaccination/faqs.html ] posted on the Health Ministry’s website.

On the question of alcohol and the vaccine, the Ministry says: “As per experts, there is no evidence of alcohol impairing the effectiveness of the vaccine.”

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What do other regulatory agencies say on drinking and vaccination?

Neither the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US nor the government or Public Health England in the UK have issued specific official advice on whether you can drink before, between, or after your shots.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the independent regulator in the UK has said: “There is currently no evidence that drinking alcohol interferes with the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines. We would advise anyone concerned about this to talk to their healthcare professional.”

What does the evidence arising out of the vaccination experience show?

According to data collected by Bloomberg, more than 574 million doses of various Covid-19 vaccines had been administered across 141 countries until March 31. Americans had received 148 million doses, and nearly 23 per cent of the population had been covered. 35 million doses had been given in the UK, a coverage of almost 26 per cent. In India, 62 million doses had been administered.

Out of these vast numbers, there have been no reports as yet of vaccine efficacy declining as a result of alcohol consumption. Doctors around the world largely agree that alcohol does not impede the formation of antibodies.

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