Russian citizens have been warned to avoid alcohol intake for two months after receiving the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, Reuters reported Wednesday.
The warning came from Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova, who said in an interview that Russians will have to observe extra precautions during the 42 days it takes for the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to become effective.
“[Russians] will have to refrain from visiting crowded places, wear face masks, use sanitizers, minimize contacts and refrain from drinking alcohol or taking immunosuppressant drugs,” Golikova told TASS News Agency.
In general, the medical community has long recognized that excessive drinking can weaken the immune system.
«It’s a strain on the body. If we want to stay healthy and have a strong immune response, don’t drink alcohol,» Popova said.
According to the World Health Organization, Russia is the fourth-largest consumer of alcohol per person in the world. The average Russian consumed 11.7 liters (about 3 gallons) in 2016, according to three-year averages from a 2018 World Health Organization report.
Russia’s efforts to vaccinate its population began in earnest over the weekend in Moscow. Health authorities in the country estimate that 100,000 people have already been inoculated, though the vaccine has been widely criticized because it was approved after tested on only a few dozen people.
Last month, developers of the vaccine said interim analysis of trial data showed it was 91.4% effective.