Explainer: Do you really have to give up alcohol before getting COVID-19 vaccine?
New Delhi, Dec 10: A health official, Anna Popova, in Russia, has warned that anyone getting vaccinated against COVID-19 with Sputnik V vaccine should give up alcohol for almost two months.
Popova, head of the consumer health watchdog, said that people should stop drinking alcohol at least two weeks before getting the first of two injections and then they should continue to abstain for a further 42 days.
"It's a strain on the body. If we want to be healthy and have a strong immune response, don't drink alcohol," she said.
However, there is no scientific evidence suggesting any relationship between alcohol consumption and vaccine efficacy, although booze has been found to weaken the immune system.
Alexander Gintsburg, the vaccine's developer said, "one glass of champagne won't hurt anyone, not even your immune system."
Although, in another tweet, Gintsburg recommended abstaining from alcohol use three days before and after each injection of any vaccine, not just Sputnik.
But William Moss, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins University, said there's no data to support such advice.
After Popova's statement, Russians are outraged following the warning that COVID-19 vaccine recipients should abstain from drinking alcohol in the weeks before and after their shots.
Sputnik V, licenced under an accelerated process before the end of clinical trials, has been given to doctors, soldiers, teachers and social workers in the first instance with a large-scale nationwide roll out due to begin this week. There are 21 days between the two Russian vaccine jabs.
In India, phase 2 human trials of Russia's Sputnik V have begun with 17 volunteers being administered the first dose. The shots were administered at the Noble Hospital in Pune between December 3-5.