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There is no evidence that drinking affects the COVID-19 vaccine, experts say

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There is no indication that drinking alcohol after being vaccinated against COVID-19 will affect the level of protection it provides, according to experts.

In January, Drinkaware, the alcohol education charity, pointed out that some evidence showed drinking, particularly in large amounts, could interfere with the body’s ability to build immunity in response to vaccines.

Various social media users subsequently reported that they were advised not to drink after receiving the first or second dose of the punch.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has now reported that there is no link between alcohol consumption and the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

A spokeswoman for the MHRA 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.

Concerns over drinking and being vaccinated have also been raised internationally, and it’s thought the theory originated from Russia, where an official warned that alcohol could hinder the body’s ability to develop immunity against Covid.

Ilhem Messaoudi, director of the Center for Virus Research at the University of California, said heavy alcohol consumption can generally impair the body’s immune response, making the person more vulnerable to infection.

She continued:

If you are truly a moderate drinker, then there’s no risk of having a drink around the time of your vaccine.

But be very cognizant of what moderate drinking really means. It’s dangerous to drink large amounts of alcohol because the effects on all biological systems, including the immune system, are pretty severe and they occur pretty quickly after you get out of that moderate zone.

So far in the UK, there have been more than 50 million doses of Covid vaccines delivered, with more than 15.5 million people now fully vaccinated.

This is the equivalent of 29.7% of the adult population, the Office for National Statistics said.

Welcoming the number 50 million milestone this week, Boris Johnson said:

Thank you to everyone who has made this possible. Please keep coming forward to get your jabs to give yourself maximum protection from the virus.

Image Credit: Getty

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