The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) has issued a few recommendations regarding Covid-19 vaccination. The recommendations have been accepted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The NEGVAC has been guiding the strategy for Covid-19 vaccinations in the country.
The new guidelines suggest that in case of individuals having lab test proven SARS-2 COVID-19 illness, COVID-19 vaccination is to be deferred by 3 months after recovery. In case of SARS-2 COVID-19 patients who have received anti-SARS-2 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, the vaccination is to be deferred by 3 months from discharge from the hospital. For individuals who have received at least the first dose and got infected with COVID-19 before getting the second dose, the second dose should be deferred by 3 months from recovery. People with any other serious general illness requiring ICU hospitalization should wait for 4-8 weeks before getting the COVID-19 vaccine. However, those with severe comorbidities, including cancer, should not defer vaccination.
The guidelines further state that an individual can donate blood after 14 days of either receipt of the vaccine or after testing RT-PCR negative in case the person had contracted COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccine is also recommended for all lactating women. There is no requirement for screening the vaccine recipients by RAT prior to vaccination either. The vaccination of pregnant women is still being discussed 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.