Can You Eat or Drink Before Getting the COVID Vaccine?

While some medical procedures require patients to fast beforehand, the vaccination for COVID is not one of them. In fact, experts say it's the opposite—with people advised to eat and drink before getting a dose.

Having a meal before the vaccine could help people with a history of feeling faint, while drinking water is important to prevent dehydration, Dr. Katie Markley, a primary care physician at UCHealth Primary Care–Hilltop, said in a February blog post.

Dr. Allison Weinmann, an infectious disease expert at the Henry Ford Health System, said in January that patients should eat beforehand and be well-rested.

"The night before... make sure to get a good night's sleep—it will help your immune system work to its fullest potential. If your appointment is around a mealtime, you should also eat beforehand and drink water—don't go to your appointment hungry or thirsty," Weinmann said in a Q&A on the Henry Ford Health System's website.

U.S. residents who are about to get a dose of any of the vaccines currently rolling out across the country should not, however, drink any alcohol beforehand.

Dr. Mallika Marshall, a Harvard-trained physician who practices at the Massachusetts General Hospital's Chelsea Urgent Care Clinic and a WBZ-TV health expert, said in February: "Good sleep can help boost the immune system.... some people develop nausea after the vaccine so eat something bland and easy to digest. Don't drink alcohol the night before [as it] can cause dehydration and hangover symptoms."

Dr. Blanka Kaplan, an expert in adult and pediatric allergy and immunology at Northwell Health in New York, told WebMD alcohol can accelerate allergic reactions.

"Since we do not yet know enough about the influence of alcohol on allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines, I recommend avoiding drinking alcohol for 24 hours before and after your vaccination," Kaplan said, echoing advice to be well-rested.

There are currently three vaccines approved for use in the U.S. that have proved effective at preventing the worst symptoms of COVID.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine comes in two doses given three weeks apart, the Moderna vaccine comes in two doses given one month apart, while the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine only requires one dose. Scientists say people with underlying medical conditions can get a vaccine as long as they are not severely allergic to its ingredients.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. has administered 109 million vaccines with 11.5 percent of the population protected.

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COVID-19 vaccine
A health care worker prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at O'Hare International Airport on March 09, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Specialists say people are advised to both eat and drink before being administered with a dose of the vaccine. Scott Olson/Getty Images