Thursday, 20 May 2021 | PNS | New Delhi
Lactating women must take jab: Guidelines
Amid widespread confusion, the Centre on Wednesday sought to bring in clarity over the timing of vaccination for those infected with Covid-19. Those who have been infected with Covid-19 can take their vaccines three months after fully clinically recovering from the disease. Those who have been infected after the first dose should also wait for three months for the second dose.
While those who have been treated with plasma therapy should also get vaccinated after a gap of three months, people with any other serious general illness requiring hospitalisation or ICU care should also wait for 4-8 weeks before getting the Covid-19 vaccine, the Ministry outlined.
The Union Health Ministry issued a statement in this regard after accepting recommendations from the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC). NEGVAC is providing guidance to the Government on prioritisation of population groups, procurement and inventory management, vaccine selection and vaccine delivery and tracking mechanism.
The Ministry added there will be no requirement for Rapid Antigen Test screening of vaccine recipients prior to vaccination against Covid-19.
At the same time, the Ministry said Covid-19 vaccination is recommended for all lactating women and an individual can donate blood after 14 days of either receiving anti-coronavirus shot or testing RT-PCR negative, if suffering from the disease.
These decisions were taken by the Ministry based on the fresh recommendations by NEGVAC and have also been communicated to the States and Union Territories, an official from the Ministry said adding that these suggestions are based on the evolving situation of the Covid-19 pandemic and emerging global scientific evidence and experience.
Also, Covid-19 vaccination should be deferred by three months after recovery in individuals having lab test proven SARS-CoV-2 illness while vaccination in Covid-19 patients who have been given anti-SARS-2 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma should be deferred by three months from the date of discharge from the hospital. The Government has just dropped Plasma therapy from the Covid treatment protocol.
According to the ministry, it is advisable to receive both the doses irrespective of past history of Covid infection as this will help in developing a strong immune response against the disease.
Regarding vaccination of pregnant women, the matter is under discussion and further deliberation by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), it said.
“States have been advised to ensure effective dissemination of the information to service providers as well as the general public, through use of all channels of information and communication in the local languages,” the official added. States have also been advised to undertake training of the vaccination staff at all levels.