Anyone receiving Covid vaccine should AVOID alcohol as it can reduce body's immune response, expert warns

Anyone receiving Covid vaccine should AVOID alcohol as it can reduce body's immune response, expert warns

01/03/2021

PEOPLE who have received the Covid-19 jab should avoid drinking alcohol, an emergency medicine specialist has warned.

Dr Ronx Ikharia conducted an alcohol experiment to prove that ingestion of alcohol can reduce the body’s immune response to the vaccination. 

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Ikharia conducted an experiment using blood samples before and after drinking three glasses of prosecco. 

The experiment is shown in full on the BBC Documentary: 'The Truth About… Boosting Your Immune System', which airs on Wednesday 6 January. 

The Dr goes on to show that three glasses were enough to bring down the effectiveness of lymphocyte cells in the blood by as much as 50 per cent.

Immunologist Professor Sheena Cruickshank, at the University of Manchester, also said the reduction in lymphocytes could lower the effectiveness of the body's immune response. 

‘’You need to have your immune system working tip-top to have a good response to the vaccine, so if you're drinking the night before, or shortly afterwards, that's not going to help.”

Alcohol is thought to change the make-up of the microorganisms that live in the gut and play an important part in preventing the invasion of bacteria and viruses. 

Drinking alcohol can lead to the damage of immune cells in the blood, most commonly known as white blood cells such as lymphocytes which send out antibodies to attack viruses effectively. 

Excess alcohol acts as an immunosuppressant so people who drink a lot are more susceptible to infections.


“Heavy drinkers have many problems and poor immune function is one of them,” says immunologist Eleanor Riley at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

In trials, about 10 per cent of people did not become immune after receiving the Sputnik V vaccine and the figure is similar for other vaccines.

The reasons for this are unknown and whether alcohol could be a factor hasn’t been investigated.

Pfizer has said that there is no warning concerning alcohol consumption given to those receiving the vaccine it has developed with BioNTech.

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