Can You Drink Alcohol After Getting The COVID Vaccine?
Let's say you've done everything that's been asked of you. You paid attention to the information regarding availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, made your appointment, and got the shots. Can you celebrate with a beer, cocktail, or glass of wine?
Looking through the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, they've got recommendations for painkillers, in which they say you should avoid taking OTC pain meds, like ibuprofen and Tylenol if you're hoping that they'll somehow blunt the potential side-effects of the vaccine. The CDC does say that it's perfectly fine to take those pain meds post-vaccination, though.
When it comes to beer, wine, and hard liquor, there's not a lot to find at the CDC website about how it will affect the COVID-19 vaccine's overall effectiveness. However, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) website says that your immune system can be negatively effected by excessive alcohol consumption, but the study was not done with the COVID-19 vaccine in mind. The NIH study points out that excessive consumption of alcohol can cause multiple problems like:
"acute respiratory stress syndromes (ARDS), sepsis, alcoholic liver disease (ALD), and certain cancers; a higher incidence of postoperative complications; and slower and less complete recovery from infection and physical trauma, including poor wound healing."
Okay, excessive drinking isn't good for you at all, we get it. But will having a drink or two after being vaccinated cause you big problems? It turns out the answer is actually no. Health.com says it's not going to help you feel any better, either.
They put the alcohol-after-vaccination question to some infectious disease experts, and while the experts wouldn't recommend having cocktail hour right after you get your final shot, it's not something they're particularly worried about. The biggest objections to you having that celebratory libation breaks down to how it will make you feel.
"Vaccine side effects include muscle aches and pains and feeling under the weather. Compounding that with the side effects of alcohol runs the risk of making you feel worse," Tania Elliott, MD, clinical instructor of medicine at NYU Langone Health.
Another doctor speculated that someone could confuse a hangover with side-effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, potentially frightening off others who had planned on receiving the shots.