The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) has shared fresh recommendations regarding COVID-19 vaccination with the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. These recommendations have been based on the evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic and emerging global scientific evidence & experience.
Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has accepted these recommendations, which are as follows, and has communicated these to the States and UTs also:
Deferring the COVID-19 vaccination in the following scenario:
a) Individuals having lab test proven SARS-2 COVID-19 illness: COVID-19 vaccination to be deferred by 3 months after recovery.
b) SARS-2 COVID-19 patients who have been given anti-SARS-2 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma: COVID-19 vaccination to be deferred by 3 months from the date of discharge from the hospital.
c) Individuals who have received at least the 1st dose and got COVID-19 infection before completion of the dosing schedule: the 2nd dose should be deferred by 3 months after clinical recovery from COVID-19 illness.
d) 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.
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.
COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all lactating women.
There is no requirement for screening of the vaccine recipients by rapid antigen test (RAT) prior to COVID-19 vaccination.
Regarding COVID-19 Vaccination of pregnant women, the matter is under discussion and further deliberation by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (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 provides as well as the general public, through use of all channels of information and communication in the local languages. States have also been advised to undertake training of the vaccination staff at all levels.