Alcohol and the COVID Vaccine: Is It Safe to Drink?

After an article about drinking and COVID vaccine effectiveness was released, many people around the country and the world are left wondering, “Can I drink after the COVID vaccine?” Experts have been weighing in on this debate and keeping a close eye on the ways that alcohol impacts the immune system in order to answer this question. In the meantime, we’re going to cover everything we know about the combination of alcohol and the COVID vaccine, including if it’s safe and what you can do if you aren’t able to pause your drinking habits.

Here’s What We Know about Alcohol and the COVID Vaccine

drinking and COVID vaccine

While not much is scientifically proven about the interactions between vaccinations and alcohol, a recent article published by the New York Times claims that heavy drinking can actually impact the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine. In the article, the studies cited show that mild to moderate drinking most likely wouldn’t have an impact on the vaccine’s effectiveness. However, this is a different case when it comes to heavy drinking. 

A moderate amount of drinking equates to about one to two drinks a day. Anything more than that would be considered extreme or severe. In these situations of heavy drinking, the article states, the vaccine might not be able to help the immune system to build up enough strength to fight off the virus.

The basis behind this claim is that drinking a lot has a negative influence on the body’s immune system. When it comes to the coronavirus, the immune system is really the only defense the body has to fight the life-threatening symptoms. But because alcohol lowers the immune system’s ability to fight off infection, there is more of a chance that people will get and suffer from the serious side effects of COVID-19

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that people who drink a lot or who struggle with an alcohol use disorder are actually more susceptible to catching COVID-19 in the first place. With this in mind, it’s clear that the immune system needs all the support it can get to fight off the deadly coronavirus. 


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The job of the COVID-19 vaccine is to train the immune system to recognize and build a defense against the virus. However, the immune system is going to have a much more challenging time doing this if it is weakened from the presence of alcohol. Thus, some experts recommend abstaining from any alcohol for a period of time before and after receiving the COVID vaccine to help the immune system respond appropriately.

Unfortunately, some people really struggle with putting a pause on their drinking habits, regardless of their health status. When this happens, it’s often a sign of alcohol abuse. So, if you’re thinking of getting the COVID-19 vaccine (or you already have) but you aren’t sure if you can stop drinking long enough to let your immune system build up the protection it needs, it could be a red flag that indicates more serious concerns.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Detecting alcohol abuse in yourself or in a loved one can be a challenging task. After all, many people subscribe to the philosophy that one glass of wine or a can of beer after a stressful day can’t hurt. But this is far from the truth.

Common signs that indicate an alcohol use disorder include:

  • Being unable to stop drinking or control how much you drink
  • Physical changes such as liver disease and alcoholic nose
  • Turning to alcohol in times of emotional distress
  • Frequently drinking to the point of blacking out
  • Finding yourself in legal, financial, or relationship trouble as a result of drinking
  • Getting sober and relapsing often

If any of these signs sound familiar, you might be struggling with an alcohol use disorder. Not only can this put your physical and mental health at great risk, but it can also influence your safety when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic—especially with the Delta variant spreading throughout the states.

Safe Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorders

alcohol and COVID vaccination

The best way to evaluate if you might have an alcohol use disorder would be to take a substance abuse assessment online. Another option is that you can speak to a mental health professional at a trusted rehabilitation facility like the Victorious Journey Recovery Center. Here, you won’t have to navigate the challenges of alcohol use recovery alone and you can do so in a safe environment that takes extra precautions to keep patients in good health.

At our facility, located in Las Vegas, Nevada where the COVID-related death toll continues to rise, you will have the opportunity to recover through a variety of treatment options. These options for alcohol addiction recovery include:

  • Social detox program
  • Individual therapy
  • Group sessions
  • Dietary education
  • Physical activity

Most importantly, you will have the chance to build important skills that will help you maintain your recovery well after your time with us. Throughout recovery and after, you will be able to work on your physical, mental, and emotional health. This shows that there are short- and long-term benefits to recovery, including improving your immune system and your chances of fighting off deadly viruses.

If you are hoping to begin the recovery process with us, you can reach out to us by phone at 888-828-2623 today. Not quite sure where to start? You can always contact us through our confidential form with all of your questions and concerns. Don’t put your health on hold any longer—start the healing process with the Victorious Journey Recovery Center.

The answer to this question depends on how much alcohol a person consumes. In mild to moderate amounts, alcohol does not seem to have much of an impact on the COVID vaccine. However, in large amounts, alcohol can lower the body’s defense against the virus which in turn would make the vaccine less effective.

Heather Ware

Heather is a content writer from Ohio who has a sincere passion for psychology and addiction recovery. Her areas of interest include alcoholism, depression, and recovery options, to name a few.

Alcohol will always have an impact on the body and mind, regardless of whether it interferes with vaccinations. This means that if you are somebody who struggles with drinking to the point where you are unable to turn down alcohol after getting a vaccination, there might be deeper issues at hand. In these situations, it’s best to seek safe professional treatment for an alcohol use disorder.

Heather Ware

Heather is a content writer from Ohio who has a sincere passion for psychology and addiction recovery. Her areas of interest include alcoholism, depression, and recovery options, to name a few.

Victorious Journey Recovery Center

Located in dynamic Las Vegas, Nevada, the Victorious Journey Recovery Center (VJRC) a 44-bed facility is run by a skilled multi-disciplinary team of medical and behavioral health professionals that includes nurses, counselors, and doctors, along with complementary and alternative medicine specialists to provide our clients with a transformational experience that encompasses mind, body, and spirit. Our approach is holistic and grounded in research and evidenced-based best practices that help people develop the awareness and skills required to achieve and sustain recovery.

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