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No alcohol for 2 months after Covid vaccine shot: Russian official

No alcohol for 2 months after Covid vaccine shot: Russian official
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Moscow: Russian officials have advised citizens to avoid drinking for two months after getting the Sputnik V vaccine shot, the New York Post reported.

People will have to observe extra precautions during the 42 days it takes for the Sputnik V Coronavirus vaccine to become effective, New York Post quoted Tatiana Golikova, Russian Deputy Prime Minister as saying.

"Russians will have to refrain from visiting crowded places, wear face masks, use sanitisers, minimise contacts and refrain from drinking alcohol or taking immunosuppressant drugs," Golikova said in an interview to TASS news agency.

Anna Popova, the head of Rospotrebnadzor, Russia's consumer safety watchdog, recommended avoiding alcohol.

"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.

However, Alexander Gintsburg, the vaccine's developer, contradicted Popova's warning. "One glass of champagne won't hurt anyone, not even your immune system," said Gintsburg. He said it would be prudent to reduce alcohol use by a reasonable amount while the body built up immunity, but said there was no need to give up completely.

According to the World Health Organisation, Russia is the fourth-largest consumer of alcohol per person in the world. The average Russian consumes 15.1 litres of alcohol a year.

With the festive period of New Year approaching that usually sees a high intake of alcohol, many Russians would spend the first 10 days of 2021 relaxing at home or abroad that instantaneously leads to higher alcohol consumption. Russians are also some of the most heavy drinkers in the world.

According to the Russian health authorities, the country estimates that 100,000 people have already been inoculated. Russia rolled out its vaccination last weekend in Moscow.

Health officials say the Sputnik V vaccine is over 90 per cent effective, but reports say medical workers who have taken the shot have come down with COVID-19. Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly refused to take it, the New York Post added.

Western experts have expressed scepticism at the speed at which the purported vaccine was developed and Russia hasn't provided any data to back up its claims for the shot.

Russia has recorded the world's fourth-highest COVID-19 cases of over 2.5 million with 44,220 deaths from the virus, Johns Hopkins University and Medicine reported.

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