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VERIFY: You don't need to avoid alcohol after getting the COVID-19 vaccine

Some people claim drinking alcohol will negatively affect your body's response to the coronavirus vaccine. Experts say there is no evidence to support this.

WASHINGTON — As of January 28, 26.1 million Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-91 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Almost 4.3 million have received a second dose. But with more widespread vaccinations come more questions.

A Verify viewer reached out to the team with a screenshot of an article that a friend sent her way. It claimed that "people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine should avoid drinking alcohol because it can reduce the body's immune response to the jab, experts have warned."

Verify researchers dug in and got the answer from the experts.

QUESTION:

Should you avoid drinking alcohol after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?

ANSWER:

No. Experts say there is no evidence of alcohol impairing the effectiveness of the vaccine.

SOURCES:

  • Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of Infectious Diseases and Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University
  • Dr. William Moss, professor of Epidemiology and Immunology and Executive Director of Johns Hopkins University's International Vaccine Access Center 
  • The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) vaccine administration guidelines

PROCESS:

First, Verify researchers reached out to Pfizer and Moderna. Neither pharmaceutical company offered a statement, but a spokesperson for Pfizer pointed us to the FDA's Pfizer-Biontech COVID-19 vaccine administrator fact sheet, pointing out that "the only information on contraindications is for people who suffer from severe allergies."

There is no warning in the FDA's Pfizer-Biotech vaccine guidelines that pertains to the consumption of alcohol. 

Both Dr. Moss and Dr. Schaffner say there is no evidence that lends itself to the suggestion that alcohol needs to be avoided after getting a coronavirus vaccine.

RELATED: VERIFY: Will we need a booster vaccine for every new strain of coronavirus?

"I'm sure many people in the trials had a glass of wine, and maybe three during dinner. So that wasn't monitored," Dr. Schaffner told us. "There's no reason to believe from studying any other vaccine, that alcohol itself will somehow impair your immune response."

Dr. Moss agreed via email, writing, "Excessive alcohol consumption is bad for many reasons, but casual or moderate alcohol consumption will not impact the response to COVID-19 vaccines."

So we can verify that there is no evidence that drinking alcohol will impact the effectiveness of your COVID-19 vaccination.