The Union Ministry of Health on Wednesday said that those who have tested positive for the coronavirus should get the vaccine three months after they fully recover. In a statement issued on Wednesday, the government said that it has accepted the recommendations made by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) to defer vaccination of those who have recovered from COVID-19 by three months. The government also said that COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all lactating women.
Vaccination will also be deferred by three months for COVID-19 patients who have been given anti-SARS-2 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma. In case of individuals who have tested positive after the first dose, the second dose should be deferred by three months after clinical recovery from COVID-19 illness/.
Any person with any other serious general illness that requires hospitalisation or ICU care should also wait for 4-8 weeks before getting the COVID-19 vaccine, the government said. 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, the government added.
There is no requirement for screening of the vaccine recipients by rapid antigen test (RAT) prior to COVID-19 vaccination, a statement by the Union Health Ministry added.
Last week, the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI) had recommended those who test positive for the novel coronavirus to defer their vaccination by six months after they recover. The panel has also recommended that pregnant women be offered the choice to take any COVID-19 vaccine and that lactating women be made eligible for the vaccine dose any time after delivery. Regarding COVID-19 vaccination of pregnant women, the matter is under discussion and further deliberation by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), the Union government said.
The Union Health Ministry has written to states and Union Territories to direct the concerned officials to take note of these recommendations and undertake necessary action for their effective implementation. States have also been advised to undertake training of the vaccination staff at all levels.