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Drinking This After COVID Vaccine Can Lead to Miserable Side Effects, Experts Say

It's tempting! But the complications from this beverage choice may be more painful than they're worth.
MEDICALLY REVIEWED Clipboard BY Howard Grossman, MD

Don't break out the champagne just yet. If getting the COVID-19 vaccine has you brainstorming the ways you'll celebrate, one specific beverage choice could cost you—and not in the way you might think. For anyone wondering whether drinking alcohol after getting the COVID-19 vaccine could weaken your immune system, we have your answer… with an important point to keep in mind.

There's been a good bit of research and chatter about the things you should, and shouldn't, do surrounding the moment you get the COVID-19 vaccine. We recently reported on the one drink that boosts your immune system if you drink it following vaccine administration, but some of us have wondered (and some have learned the hard way) that drinking alcohol after you get the COVID-19 vaccine could turn out to be an ugly mistake if you do it immediately following your COVID-19 vaccine. 

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The reason actually doesn't have to do with the COVID vaccine's efficacy. In fact, there are infectious disease experts who have spoken to the fact that currently, there's no evidence suggesting alcohol has much of an impact on the body's antibody-producing capabilities. However, according to, some physicians are cautioning the public to be mindful that the vaccine itself can lead to side effects that resemble flu-ish symptoms, such as nausea, body aches, or headache.

Howard Grossman, MD, a member of the Eat This, Not That!'s Medical Expert Board, shared this strategy with us to feel your best after the COVID-19 vaccine: "Significant numbers of people do get body aches and other symptoms after the vaccine. These generally resolve in a day or so."

Some medical professionals have stated that the side effects of alcohol can compound the vaccine's side effects, which may end up causing you a day or two of misery. To manage this, Grossman says, "Good medical advice is to avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, naprosyn, etc.) and Tylenol before getting the vaccine, but … to take them after if they get symptoms. People would be well-advised not to add a toxin like alcohol which does not mix well with feeling badly after the vaccine and definitely does not go well with the [nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs]."

We reported last week that a perhaps unexpected demographic are the ones venturing out to restaurants and bars more than any other. Some experts advise they may just want to wait 48 to 72 hours after getting their COVID-19 vaccine before they order up that dirty martini. If you're looking forward to saying "Cheers," check out what your drinking habits reveal about you, and sign up for the Eat This, Not That! newsletter for daily food and health news delivered to your inbox.

Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more about Krissy