Russia's Sputnik V could be the worst nightmare for some. Turns out, consuming alcohol for almost two months after taking the shot could be a bad idea. A health official warned that anyone getting vaccinated with Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V should give up alcohol for almost two months. The warning has caused some backlash from some Russians who are calling the request unreasonable.
Head of the consumer health watchdog, Anna Popova, told the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station on Tuesday that people should stop drinking alcohol at least two weeks before getting the first of the two injections. She advised that they should abstain for further 42 days.
The vaccine would be administered to doctors, soldiers, teachers and social workers in a large-scale nationwide rollout scheduled to begin this week. There is a gap of 21 days between the two shots.
Moreover, the festive period of New Year is approaching that usually sees a high intake of alcohol. Many Russians would spend the first 10 days of 2021 relaxing at home or abroad that instantaneously leads to higher alcohol consumption. Russians are also some of the most heavy drinkers in the world.
Popova had said that the alcohol would reduce the body's ability to build up immunity to coronavirus. "It's a strain on the body. If we want to be healthy and have a strong immune response, don't drink alcohol," she said.
However, Alexander Gintsburg, the vaccine's developer, contradicted Popova's warning. "One glass of champagne won't hurt anyone, not even your immune system," said Gintsburg. He said it would be prudent to reduce alcohol use by a reasonable amount while the body built up immunity, but said there was no need to give up completely.
"You should have spoken (about alcohol reduction) in the first place," wrote one Facebook user, while another said "Even I won't sign up for this despite drinking rarely. Having a drink at New Year is sacred!"