Indian government accepts recommendation to defer vaccination of COVID-19 recovered patients by 3 months

The Government of India, on May 19, approved a series of recommendations from the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) for deferring vaccination in multiple scenarios, including for COVID-19 recovered patients.

The Centre accepted the health panel’s recommendation to introduce a three-month gap for COVID-19 recovered patients to get vaccinated.

Accepting the recommendations of the NEGVAC, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in a communique to the states and union territories (UTs), said: “Individuals having lab-test proven SARS-CoV2 illness will have to defer vaccination by three months after recovery.”

The Health Ministry further said that COVID-19 patients who have been administered anti-SARS-CoV2 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma would also be vaccinated three months after their discharge date from a hospital.

If a person contracts COVID-19 after receiving the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, they would also have to defer their second vaccine dose three months after clinical recovery from the viral disease.

Moreover, people with any other serious illness requiring hospitalization or ICU care have been suggested a waiting period of four to eight weeks before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

The NEGVAC, in its recommendations based on the “evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic and emerging global scientific evidence and experience,” has also said that a COVID-19 recovered person can donate blood after 14 days of receiving COVID-19 vaccine or testing RT-PCR negative (if suffering from the disease).

The COVID-19 vaccination panel has further assured that it is safe for lactating women to get their jabs. However, the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) is still deliberating on the effects of COVID-19 vaccination on pregnant women.

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