You finally have an appointment for your COVID-19 vaccine and you’re getting a little nervous. You’ve read about all the side effects and do not want to feel sick afterwards. In fact, you might want to relax that night with a drink but worry that you shouldn’t have alcohol after getting the vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccine side effects can be a little daunting. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), common vaccine side effects include a sore, red, or swollen arm near the vaccination site, muscle pain, fever, chills, tiredness, and headaches.
The CDC also recommends not taking an analgesic like Tylenol before receiving the vaccine as it can interfere with your body’s immune response and the buildup of antibodies the vaccine needs in order to be effective, according to WebMD. However, you can take Tylenol after getting your shot if you do have side effects. But what about alcohol? Will having a drink affect your vaccination in any way?
Here's what alcohol does to your COVID-19 vaccine
According to Prevention, alcohol after your shot does not act in the same way as Tylenol before your shot. That means there is no evidence that alcohol will affect your immune system and prevent it from making those all-important COVID-19 antibodies. In fact, trial participants for both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines weren’t even advised to not drink and nobody reported any adverse effects from drinking.
However, this doesn’t mean you should overindulge. Remember, there’s still a possibility you may not feel well that night or the next day and alcohol will not be your friend if that’s the case. “Being intoxicated or hungover will make things less pleasant,” Dr. Robert Watkins of Northeast Ohio Medical University told Prevention.
Watkins advises that you drink as much water if you can, especially if you have unpleasant side effects. Alcohol can be dehydrating and staying hydrated is your best bet when feeling sick after your vaccine.
“We all feel better when we’re well-hydrated so this isn’t the time to go on a fluid strike, but really try to overdo it with the fluids. To the point where, when one’s urinating that it’s a clear color,” Dr. David Berger with Wholistic Pediatrics and Family Care told WFTS Tampa Bay.
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