People who have received the Covid-19 vaccine should avoid drinking alcohol because it can reduce the body’s immune response to the vaccine, experts have warned.
Alcohol changes the make-up of the trillions of microorganisms that live in the gut which play an important role in preventing the invasion of bacteria and viruses.
This leads to the damage of immune cells in the blood, known as white blood cells, including lymphocytes, which send out antibodies to attack viruses.
Emergency medicine specialist Dr. Ronx Ikharia conducted an experiment where they took blood samples before and after drinking three glasses of Prosecco.
Dr. Ikharia, the presenter of BBC documentary, The Truth About… Boosting Your Immune System which airs on Wednesday, found that three glasses were enough to bring down the levels of lymphocyte cells in their blood by as much as 50 percent.
Immunologist Professor Sheena Cruickshank, at the University of Manchester, said the reduction in lymphocytes could lower the effectiveness of the body’s immune response.
Therefore Professor Cruickshank has urged people to avoid alcohol around the time of their Covid-19 vaccination.
Professor Cruickshank said: ‘You need to have your immune system working tip-top to have a good response to the vaccine, so if you’re drinking the night before, or shortly afterward, that’s not going to help.’
In adults, lymphocytes make up roughly 20 to 40 percent of the total number of white blood cell and are concentrated in central lymphoid organs and tissues, such as the spleen, tonsils, and lymph nodes, where the initial immune response is likely to occur.
Lymphocytes are of ‘fundamental importance’ in the immune system because they determine immune response to infectious microorganisms and other foreign substances, such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a team of scientists in Wuhan, China.