Some experts were skeptical about claims of the need to stay sober for several weeks while vaccinating against COVID-19. But this is precisely what the Russian government is insisting on.
"The vaccine is two-stage, it is applied after 21 days, so during all 42 days it is necessary to limit the intake of alcohol and drugs that suppress the immune system", -
at the end of last week, Deputy Prime Minister and head of the headquarters for the fight against coronavirus Tatyana Golikova.
Even such a recommendation seemed impracticable to some, but Rospotrebnadzor voiced even more stringent requirements. As the head of the department, Anna Popova, said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station, crystal sobriety must be “absolutely exactly” maintained for almost two months: “At least two weeks before immunization, it is absolutely necessary to stop taking it. The development of immunity is 21 days between two injections and another 21 days after the injection, for a total of 42 days. We must clearly understand that these 42 days from the first injection to the last 42nd day is the period of the formation of immunity."
The conditions set by Popova and Golikova surprised many, but most of all - the participants in the Sputnik V vaccine trials. The informed consent form, which was signed by the volunteers, did not mention any eight weeks of sobriety. According to the document, participants were required to eliminate alcohol three days before and for three days after each injection. Immunologist Vladimir Bolibok calls such rules reasonable.
Vladimir Bolibok, immunologist “What has been written about the third phase of the trials - three days before the vaccine administration and three days after - is a fairly reasonable situation. First, if any side effects from the vaccine develop, they develop in the first three days. It is undesirable for a person not to drink alcohol for three days in case he suddenly has to provide some additional help, for example, take antipyretic drugs, if he has a temperature reaction to the vaccine. The instructions for the vaccine itself do not indicate anything on this topic at all."
In turn, Nikolay Kryuchkov, general director of the contract research company Clinical Excellence Group, says that a ban on alcohol for a long time will help in the formation of immunity.
Nikolay Kryuchkov General Director of the contract research company Clinical Excellence Group “It is rather a desire to improve the effectiveness of the vaccine and its effectiveness. The fact is that we are not saying that if the period of abstinence from the consumption of strong alcoholic beverages is not 30 days, but 20 days, then the effectiveness of vaccination will fall catastrophically or vaccination will be not only ineffective, but also dangerous. We are talking about the fact that it is better for the entire period of formation of specific immunity in response to the vaccine to refrain from consuming alcoholic beverages, especially strong ones, and large amounts of alcohol. Indeed, this can lead to a decrease in the effectiveness of the vaccination for you personally. If you can, for example, abstain for 30 days and cannot for 45 days, then that is also not bad. This is not a contraindication to vaccination."
Similar advice is given by the developers of Sputnik V. The director of the Gamaleya Center, Alexander Gintsburg, said today that it is not worth to abuse alcoholic beverages after vaccination, but a glass of champagne, in particular for the New Year, will not harm.The chief narcologist of Russia, Yevgeny Brun, agrees with this.
There are still two unanswered questions. First, if the participants in the third phase of the trials were not informed about the need for long-term abstinence, and the drug still demonstrated more than 90% effectiveness, why additional restrictions? And secondly, if Anna Popova and Tatyana Golikova still insist on eight weeks without alcohol, are they definitely going to start vaccination before the New Year? At the same time, the desire of Russians to get vaccinated and so leaves much to be desired. In this respect, Russia lags behind all major countries most affected by the coronavirus.