Can I drink alcohol before I get vaccinated? How long does the vaccine work for?

Local 4′s Dr. Frank McGeorge answers viewer questions on the COVID vaccine

Many people have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine as it’s being rolled out to more people in Michigan this week.
Many people have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine as it’s being rolled out to more people in Michigan this week.

DETROIT – Many people have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine as it’s being rolled out to more people in Michigan this week.

READ: Answering questions about efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine

Is it true that you shouldn’t drink alcohol the day before or after receiving the vaccine?

No. There aren’t any dietary restrictions -- including alcohol -- that residents need to consider with regard to the vaccine. However, excessive drinking before or after the vaccine will likely make any potential side effects -- like a headache or body ache -- more unpleasant.

RELATED: Answering 4 viewer questions about possible reactions to COVID-19 vaccine

What are the components of either vaccine that are worrisome for individuals having an allergic reaction?

The vaccine ingredient that is being focused on as the most likely culprit behind allergic reactions is polyethylene glycol. The chemical is necessary to maintain the outer-coating of the MRNA, allowing it to get into cells and produce spike protein.

PEG is very common in medications, cosmetics and even laxatives. Because of the concern, any known allergy to PEG, or cross-reacting chemical polysorbate, is a reason to not get the MNRA COVID vaccines.

How long will the vaccine keep you safe?

We don’t have that information yet and unfortunately the only way for us to find out is to continue to study it over time.

Why is the Pfizer vaccine recommended for people 16-years old and above while Moderna is for people 18-years old and above?

If it seems arbitrary, it’s because it is. The age difference is simply related to the way the original study data -- that was submitted to the FDA for emergency authorization -- was collected. There was a significant debate before the Pfizer vaccine’s minimum age was made 16 rather than 18.

Are the side effects different for the first and second dose?

The side effects are the same for both doses, but they are significantly more common after the second dose because the immune system has been activated by the first dose. Additionally, side effects are more common in people under the age of 55.

Questions about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge


About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.