COVID-19 vaccination to be deferred by 3 months after recovery from illness: Centre

The Union Health Ministry today said that the COVID-19 vaccination should be deferred by 3 months after recovery from the illness. The ministry took the decision after accepting new recommendations of National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration (NEGVAC) for COVID-19.

The recommendations were given to the Centre based on the evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic and emerging global scientific evidence and experience.

As per the guidelines shared by the Centre, the vaccination can be deferred in following criteria:

  • If an individual is having lab test proven SARS-2 COVID-19 illness: COVID-19 vaccination to be deferred by 3 months after recovery.

  • If SARS-2 COVID-19 patients has been given anti-SARS-2 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma then the vaccination should be deferred by 3 months from the date of discharge from the hospital.

  • Those Individuals who have received at least the 1st dose and got COVID-19 infection before completion of the dosing schedule then the 2nd dose should be deferred by 3 months after clinical recovery from COVID-19 illness.

  • Besides, 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 ministry also recommended the vaccination for lactating women but for pregnant women, the matter is under discussion and further deliberation by NEGVAC.

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.

Earlier in the day, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that more pharma companies should be allowed to manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine in the country during the pandemic to scale up production. While addressing a meeting via video conferencing Gadkari said, "If the demand of vaccine is more than the supply, it creates the problem. So, instead of one company, let 10 more companies be given the license to manufacture the vaccine." "There are 2-3 laboratories in every state. They should be given the formula to produce the COVID-19 vaccines. They can give royalty," Gadkari said.

"Let them supply in the country and later if there is surplus, they may export. It can be done in 15-20 days," he added.

Currently, only two firms - Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India - are manufacturing COVID vaccines in the country and only three vaccines have so far been approved to be sold in India --- COVAXIN, COVESHIELD and Sputnik V.

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