Smoking and drinking alcohol could affect the immune response of the COVID-19 vaccine

Smoking conventional tobacco, using smokeless tobacco products and drinking alcohol, both in high and moderate amounts, can modify the immune response of the coronavirus vaccine, the authors conclude (Getty Images)

if you know that Alcohol consumption, especially at an excessive level, it weakens the immune system and makes it easier to contract diseases and infections. Also that drinking several beers a day could reduce the effect of the coronavirus vaccine, so it may be recommended decrease your intake before and after receiving a dose.

Now, a new scientific study, pending peer review, delved into epidemiological evidence on the Association Between Smoking and Alcohol Consumption and COVID-19 Vaccine-Induced Antibody Levels.

The research, published in MedRxiv, had the participation of 3,457 health workers from national centers for research and advanced medicine in Japan, fully vaccinated against the virus. These were classified into five groups according to their smoking habits (from people who had never smoked to current smokers, either of conventional cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products -HNB, for its acronym in English-), and in another five according to their drinking habits (non-drinkers, occasional drinkers and those who drink every week, with different frequency).

The researchers noted, IgG antibody titers were “significantly lower” among HNB tobacco users (including those who also smoked cigarettes) and exclusive cigarette smokers. Compared to people who did not drink alcohol, drinkers had fewer antibodies, whether they drank high or moderate doses of alcohol.

“The results suggest that, in addition to conventional smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, the use of HNB tobacco products and moderate alcohol consumption may be predictors of a lower immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine” (EFE)

Those who consumed less than 1 go per day (1 go from japanese sake contains about 23 grams of ethanol), 1-1.9 daily and 2 or more each day had “significantly lower antibody titers”. “The use of HNB tobacco products and moderate alcohol use may be modifiers of the immunogenicity induced by the COVID-19 vaccine ″, the authors highlighted.

The Median age of participants was 41 years; the 72% were women with a history of COVID-19 at 0.5%. Usually, 34% of the workforce were nurses; the others were allied health professionals (18%), administrative workers (15%), doctors (14%) e researchers (13%). Almost half of the 212 current smokers used HNB tobacco products. In the meantime, 39% of the participants drank alcohol at least once a week. Between the second vaccination and the collection of blood samples, the median delay was 64 days.

Following these findings, the researchers concluded: “The results suggest that, in addition to conventional smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, the use of HNB tobacco products and moderate alcohol consumption may be predictors of a lower immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine ″.

The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between smoking (including HNB tobacco use) and alcohol intake with immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibody titers against the peak protein of SARS-CoV-2 (REUTERS)
The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between smoking (including HNB tobacco use) and alcohol intake with immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibody titers against the peak protein of SARS-CoV-2 (REUTERS)

“Numerous studies show a high degree of inter-individual variability in vaccine-induced antibody levels. Although several factors can contribute to heterogeneity, it is essential to delineate the modifiable factors that affect post-vaccine immunogenicity ”, analyzed the medical news and information site News Medical.

And he added: “It is known that smoking and excess alcohol they impair the activation of innate and acquired immunity and, consequently, reduce vaccine-induced antibody formation. As with regular cigarettes, HNB tobacco products include nicotine, which can negatively affect the immune system. Regarding alcohol consumption, previous studies have not evaluated the dose-response relationship with special emphasis on the effect of moderate consumption. The fact it is of particular concern to East Asians, specifically the Japanese, who have a high rate of mutations in an enzyme that metabolizes alcohol. “

In conclusion, cigarette smokers and, to a lesser extent, tobacco product users HNB they had lower IgG antibody titers against the SARS-CoV-2 peak protein after vaccination. While antibody titers steadily decreased as alcohol consumption increased, a significant low level was found even with moderate alcohol intake. Therefore, smoking cigarettes, HNB tobacco products, and heavy alcohol use, and even alcohol in moderation, could affect the immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine.

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