| Last updated
A top immunologist has warned people not to drink alcohol around the time of receiving the coronavirus vaccine as it can reduce the body's response.
Dr Ronx Ikharia conducted an experiment into the effects of alcohol on participants blood by taking samples before and after drinking three glasses of prosecco.
Appearing on BBC's The Truth About... Boosting Your Immune System, which airs on Wednesday, Dr Ikharia - an emergency medicine specialist - found that the three glasses brought down the levels of lymphocyte cells by as much as 50 percent.
Immunologist Professor Sheena Cruickshank, from the University of Manchester, said this reduction in lymphocyte cells could lower the effectiveness of the vaccine.
And urged people to ditch alcohol around the time of their vaccine, to be on the safe side.
Professor Cruickshank said: "You need to have your immune system working tip-top to have a good response to the vaccine, so if you're drinking the night before, or shortly afterwards, that's not going to help."
Lymphocytes make up around 20 to 40 percent of our white blood cells and are of 'fundamental importance' in the immune system.
Today is the first day that people in the UK will be given the Oxford vaccine.
The Government has more than half a million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca ready to be rolled out immediately, with tens of millions more to be delivered in the coming weeks and months once batches have been quality checked by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Speaking about the launch of the vaccine, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "I am delighted that today we are rolling out the Oxford vaccine - a testament to British science.
"This is a pivotal moment in our fight against this awful virus and I hope it provides renewed hope to everybody that the end of this pandemic is in sight.
"Through its vaccine delivery plan the NHS is doing everything it can to vaccinate those most at risk as quickly as possible and we will rapidly accelerate our vaccination programme.
"While the most vulnerable are immunised, I urge everybody to continue following the restrictions so we can keep cases down and protect our loved ones."
To help administer the vaccines, the Government says there is an 'army of current and former NHS staff ' who have applied to become vaccinators, with tens of thousands having already completed their online training.
The Truth About... Boosting Your Immune System will air on BBC 1 on Wednesday 6 January at 9pm.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read