Q: Is it safe to drink wine after receiving my COVID-19 vaccine booster shot?—Marcus, Eugene, Ore.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many people are lining up for vaccine booster shots. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), booster shots are a similar formulation to the current COVID-19 vaccines, and the overall consensus is that it’s safe to consume wine after receiving a vaccine dose.
"There is currently no evidence that drinking alcohol will make COVID-19 vaccination less effective and there is also no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe for individuals who consume alcohol," read a statement issued by the CDC. "However, alcohol use can increase the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia, which are sometimes associated with COVID-19."
The CDC adds that "drinking alcohol weakens your body's ability to fight infections, increasing the risk of complications and making it harder to get better if you are sick."
Dr. Paul Bollyky, an associate professor at the division of infectious diseases at Stanford University Medical Center, echoes the CDC's response. "The impact of alcohol on COVID-19 vaccines hasn't been studied but it's likely that some people in the vaccine trials also consumed alcohol," Dr. Paul Bollyky told Wine Spectator. "In general, alcoholism is associated with weakened immunity in many settings but the occasional drink is fine."
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was the first to gain authorization for U.S. distribution, and the updated vaccine labeling does not advise against moderate alcohol consumption following the dose. Pfizer director of global media relations Jerica Pitts says individuals should consult with their health-care provider for more information on the latest booster vaccines and wine consumption.—Shawn Zylberberg