Russia has delivered a blow to its citizens after health officials warned that they will have to avoid alcohol for two months if they get the country’s Covid-19 Vaccine.
The news is unlikely to be welcomed by imbibers in the alcohol loving country. Russia is one of the world’s heaviest drinking countries. According to the World Health Organization, Russia is the fourth largest consumer of alcohol per person in the world. The average Russian consumes 15.1 litres of alcohol a year, according to the agency.
The warning about avoiding alcohol for 2 months comes as Russia is administering the Sputnik V vaccine to protect its citizens from Covid-19. Health officials in the country have declared that the Sputnik V vaccine is 90 per cent effective, comparable to Pfizer and BioNTech’s own vaccine which is rated 90 percent effective.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova, 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.
The concerns were reiterated by Anna Popova, the head of Rospotrebnadzor, Russia’s consumer safety watchdog, who emphasized that t avoiding alcohol was essential for people to stay healthy and have a strong immune response system. Popova is quoted by the Moscow Times as saying,
“It’s a strain on the body. If we want to stay healthy and have a strong immune response, don’t drink alcohol,”
Russian health officials say the Sputnik V vaccine is over 90-percent effective, but reports say that medical workers who have taken the shot have come down with COVID-19. Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly refused to take the vaccine.