When to take Covid-19 vaccine after recovery? Wait for 3 months, says Centre

Published on May 19, 2021 04:25 PM IST

Lactating women can be vaccinated against Covid-19, but the Centre will deliberate further regarding the vaccination of pregnant women.

The Centre on Wednesday accepted the recommendations of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration. (AFP)
The Centre on Wednesday accepted the recommendations of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration. (AFP)
By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh

Those who have been infected by Covid-19 can take their vaccines three months after the recovery, the Centre said on Wednesday as it accepted the recommendations of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19. Those who have been infected after the first dose of the vaccine should also wait for three months to get their second dose. Patients who have been treated with plasma therapy should also defer their vaccination by three months, the Centre said.

Apart from increasing the gap between the two doses of Covishield vaccines to 12 to 16 weeks, the expert group also recommended that those who are getting the infection ow should defer their vaccination. The Centre cleared the Covishield proposal earlier. On Wednesday, the rest of the proposals were also accepted.

In its list of changes, the ministry said lactating women can be vaccinated, but the Centre will deliberate further regarding the vaccination of pregnant women.

When to take Covid-19 vaccine 2nd dose? What to do if once infected? What experts recommend

Changes in vaccination rule

> Those who have lab test-proven SARS-2 Covid-19 illness can defer their vaccination by three months after recovery.

> SARS-2 Covid-19 patients who have been given anti-SARS-2 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma can also defer their vaccination for 3 months after discharge from the hospital.

Watch: Vaccination 3 months post Covid recovery; lactating women can get jabs, says Govt


> Individuals who have received at least the 1st dose and got Covid-19 infection before completion of the dosing schedule should defer their second dose by 3 months.

> Persons with any other serious general illness requiring hospitalisation or ICU care should also wait for 4-8 weeks before vaccination.

> 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, but no decision yet for pregnant women.

> There is no requirement for screening of the vaccine recipients by rapid antigen test (RAT) prior to Covid-19 vaccination.

Existing rules

As per existing rules, one was supposed to wait for four weeks after recovery from Covid-19 to get their vaccination. Vaccines were not recommended for pregnant and lactating women as they were not part of the clinical trials. But the expert panel recommended vaccination for both groups. In its recommendation, the expert group said pregnant women may be offered the choice to take any vaccine, but the Centre has put this recommendation on hold.

Why the changes

The recommendations were based on the "evolving situation of the Covid-19 pandemic and emerging global scientific evidence and experience", the Centre has said. The recommendations are based on the finding that the protection that one develops after getting infected by the virus stays for at least three months. The vaccine if administered at a time when there are antibodies may become redundant. Hence, experts recommended the gap.



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