No alcohol for 2 months if taking Russia’s vaccine? DOH says it’s precaution

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 11 2020 03:20 PM

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MANILA — The Department of Health on Friday said there’s nothing wrong with Russia asking vaccine takers not to drink alcohol before and after being immunized against COVID-19.

“Yung sinasabi na nagkaroon ng warning in Russia na umiwas muna sa paginom ng alak prior and after receiving the vaccine, these are just precautionary measures,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing.

(The warning of Russia to avoid drinking alcohol before and after receiving the vaccine, these are just precautionary measures.)

Reuters recently reported that Russia had advised anyone taking its Sputnik V vaccine not to drink alcohol 2 weeks before being vaccinated and 42 days after that. 

The social media account of Sputnik, quoting the vaccine’s developer Dr. Alexander Gintsburg posted, “One glass of champagne won't hurt anyone, not even your immune system.” 

The Russian health official who gave the advice said alcohol can reduce the body’s ability to build immunity against COVID-19. This opinion was shared by Vergeire.

“We all know that when you drink alcohol, especially if you drink it too much, bumababa ang immunity natin. And when you take a vaccine, para magwork sa iyo ang bakuna kailangan robust ang system mo, 'yung immune system mo ay maayos para nakakapagdevelop ng antibodies ang iyong katawan,” she further explained.

(We all know that when you drink alcohol, especially if you drink it too much, your immunity can be weakened. And when you take a vaccine, for it to work, your system must be robust, your immune system should be okay for your body to develop antibodies.)

Vergeire said such precautions are “part of the uncertainty of what is happening right now with this pandemic.”

“I think people should heed this call para lang po magkaroon ng magandang epekto ang ating bakuna. Iwasan muna natin ang nakakasama sa ating katawan,”

(I think people should heed this call to get a good effect from the vaccine. We should just avoid things that are bad for our health.)

Russia’s Gamaleya Institute is among those applying for clinical trials in the Philippines. The government also recently said that the first vaccine for public use in the Philippines next year might be Gamaleya’s Sputnik V or China’s vaccine from Sinovac. 

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