The Union health ministry on Wednesday introduced new guidelines on the deferment of Covid-19 vaccination for those who have contracted and recovered from Covid-19. As per the new rules, those who have been infected by Covid-19 can take their vaccines three months after the recovery, the Centre said as it accepted the recommendations of the National Expert Group on Vaccine.
“The government panel’s recommendations have been based on the evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic and emerging global scientific evidence and experience,” the Union health ministry said.
Last week, the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) had recommended that those testing positive for Covid-19 should defer vaccination for six months after recovery.
However, stating the changes, the Centre today said that a jab can be taken 3 months after recovering from Covid-19. It also stated that COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all lactating women.
Here are the changes to the vaccination rule for Covid-recovered people:
-Individuals having lab test proven SARS-2 COVID-19 illness: COVID-19 vaccination to be deferred by 3 months after recovery.
-SARS-2 COVID-19 patients who have been given anti-SARS-2 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma: COVID-19 vaccination to be deferred by 3 months from the date of discharge from the hospital.
-Individuals who have received at least the 1st dose and got COVID-19 infection before completion of the dosing schedule: the 2nd dose should be deferred by 3 months after clinical recovery from COVID-19 illness.
-Persons with any other serious general illness requiring hospitalization or ICU care should also wait for 4-8 weeks before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
The government also said that an individual can donate blood after 14 days of either receipt of COVID-19 vaccine or testing RT-PCR negative, if suffering from COVID-19 disease.
There is no requirement for screening of the vaccine recipients by rapid antigen test (RAT) prior to COVID-19 vaccination.
Regarding COVID-19 Vaccination of pregnant women, the matter is under discussion and further deliberation by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI).
What were the rules for pregnant, lactating women earlier?
As per the earlier guidelines and study, pregnant women and lactating mothers were not included under the coronavirus vaccination process because of a lack of clinical trials data on the effect of coronavirus vaccine on these two groups.
Why the changes?
The recommendations were based on the “evolving situation of the Covid-19 pandemic and emerging global scientific evidence and experience”, the Centre has said. The recommendations are based on the finding that the protection that one develops after getting infected by the virus stays for at least three months. The vaccine is administered at a time when there are antibodies may become redundant. Hence, experts recommended the gap.