More and more people are getting the COVID-19 vaccine, but being vaccinated doesn’t mean you can immediately return to normal life. Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has advised people to continue to wear masks and to avoid travel after receiving the vaccine, as it still may be possible to transmit the virus.
What about drinking alcohol, though? While there is nothing to suggest that drinking after getting the shot will have an impact on its efficacy, there are reasons to abstain from alcohol after being vaccinated. As Dr. Richard Watkins told Cosmopolitan, “being intoxicated or hungover will make things less pleasant” should you experience side effects from the vaccination.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some people may experience pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site, along with flu-like symptoms. “These side effects usually start within a day or two of getting the vaccine,” says the CDC, but the good news is that “they should go away in a few days.”
Many people experience temporary side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine
Aside from avoiding booze for a few days, you might want to take a couple days off work after getting the vaccine if you’re able — especially after getting the second dose of the vaccine. “I don’t think it’s a bad idea, if you have a sick day, to use it,” Dr. Kanad Mukherjee, an assistant professor at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine told NJ.com. “Because if you’re going to have side effects after the second dose, you don’t exactly know how soon or delayed it might be. So to have that cushion would be good if you have the ability to do so.”
As Dr. William Schaffner explained to AARP, “More people — 40 to 50 percent — experience [side effects] after the second vaccine” as “your immune system is starting to work and cope with the stimulus that comes from the vaccine — so in a sense it’s a good thing.”
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