Those who test positive for COVID-19 should not go for vaccination for six months after recovery, a government panel has recommended, according to sources quoted by Press Trust of India. The same panel has also said the gap between two doses of Covishield should be increased to 12 to 16 weeks and pregnant women should be able to choose their vaccine, PTI said today.
No change has been suggested for the dosage interval of Covaxin.
These recommendations are by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) that held a meeting recently.
Those who have received the first dose of vaccine and test positive before the second shot should wait for four to eight weeks after recovering from the infection, the panel has reportedly recommended.
Also, COVID-19 patients who have been given monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma can defer vaccination for three months from the day they are out of hospital, the recommendations say.
Those with any other serious illness requiring hospitalisation or ICU care should also wait for four to eight weeks before getting the next vaccine.
According to the Union Health Ministry's current protocol, the vaccine is to be taken four to eight weeks after recovery from a Covid infection and pregnant and lactating women are not to be administered the shots.
The recommendations come at a time many states have reported a shortage of vaccines and have said they will float global tenders to import them.
The recommendations of the advisory group will be sent to the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC).
The panel has rejected the proposal to routinely screen all vaccine recipients with rapid antigen testing before vaccination.