In a letter to all states and Union territories, the ministry highlighted that under the emergency use, coronavirus vaccination is indicated only for 18 years and above. If required, COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines should be separated by an interval of at least 14 days.
Interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines is not permitted and pregnant and lactating women should not be administered the shots as they have not been part of any anti-coronavirus vaccine clinical trial so far, the health ministry said on Thursday.
According to the letter, in case of persons having active symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection, coronavirus infected patients who have been given anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma and acutely unwell patients due to any illness, the COVID-19 vaccination is to be deferred for four to eight weeks after recovery.
“Pregnant and lactating women have not been a part of any COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial so far. Therefore, women who are pregnant or not sure of their pregnancy and lactating women should not receive COVID-19 vaccine at this time,” the letter stated.
Listing the contraindications, the health ministry cautioned against administration of the vaccine in persons with a history of anaphylactic or allergic reaction to a previous dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and in those with immediate or delayed onset anaphylaxis or allergic reaction to vaccines or injectable therapies, pharmaceutical products, food items, among others.