Think Twice Before Drinking This After You Get Your COVID-19 Booster

As COVID-19 cases continue to trend upwards, people all over the U.S. are lining up to get their booster shots. If you've recently scheduled an appointment to get an additional dose of the vaccine, you may be wondering if you can celebrate with a drink afterward. As it out turns out, the answer is yes (via Prevention). While there is no official recommendation on whether you should or should not consume alcohol after getting vaccinated, there is no scientific proof to suggest that drinking alcohol interferes with the effectiveness of the vaccine.

"There is no evidence that alcohol reduces the formation of antibodies," Dr. Richard Watkins, an infectious disease physician and a professor of internal medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University, told Prevention. However, it's important to drink responsibly and try to limit yourself to one or two drinks. "Being intoxicated or hungover will make things less pleasant," Dr. Watkins added. That's because alcohol is dehydrating and can potentially worsen any post-vaccine side effects you may experience.

Too much alcohol may weaken your immune response

Furthermore, excessive alcohol consumption can impair your immune system, which may weaken your immune response to the vaccine, perĀ The New York Times. It takes at least two weeks for your body to generate antibodies in response to the vaccine. Drinking too much alcohol could potentially interfere with this process and increase your susceptibility to viral and bacterial infections.

"If you are truly a moderate drinker, then there's no risk of having a drink around the time of your vaccine," Ilhem Messaoudi, the director of the Center for Virus Research at the University of California, Irvine, told The New York Times. "But be very cognizant of what moderate drinking really means. It's dangerous to drink large amounts of alcohol because the effects on all biological systems, including the immune system, are pretty severe and they occur pretty quickly after you get out of that moderate zone." For men, moderate drinking is defined as a maximum of two alcoholic drinks per day, while women are limited to one drink. Excessive drinking, on the other hand, is three or more drinks a day for women and four or more drinks for men (via The New York Times).