The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) on Wednesday recommended that the COVID-19 vaccination should be deferred by three months after clinical recovery of the illness.
According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, NEGVAC’s fresh recommendations are based on the evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic and emerging global scientific evidence and experience.
For COVID patients, who have been given anti-SARS-2 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, the vaccination should be deferred by three months from the date of discharge from the hospital, said NEGVAC.
NEGVAC’s new recommendations further say if a person gets infected with COVID post administration of the first dose of the vaccine, the second dose should be deferred by three months after clinical recovery from the illness.
It is recommended that an individual can donate blood after 14 days of either receipt of the COVID vaccine or testing RT-PCR negative if suffering from COVID-19 disease.
NEGVAC further clarified that there is no requirement for screening of the vaccine recipients by Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) prior to COVID vaccination.
The expert panel said persons with any other serious general illness requiring hospitalisation or ICU care should also wait for 4-8 weeks before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
NEGVAC has recommended COVID vaccination for all lactating women. Regarding the COVID vaccination of pregnant women, the expert panel said the matter is under discussion and further deliberation by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI).
The Union Health Ministry has written to States and UTs to direct the concerned officials to take note of these recommendations and undertake necessary action for their effective implementation.
States have been advised to ensure effective dissemination of the information to service providers as well as the general public, through the use of all channels of information and communication in the local languages. States have also been advised to undertake the training of the vaccination staff at all levels. (ANI)