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Govt Panel Suggests Extending Vaccination Gap After Covid Infection to 9 Months

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Last Updated: May 18, 2021, 13:27 IST

Representational image

Representational image

The expert panel has approached the health ministry with its recommendation.

A government panel has recommended that those who have recovered from Covid-19 should delay their Covid vaccine for six to nine months after infection. The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI).

While the NTAGI has earlier suggested a six-month gap, the panel has now approached the government for approval for a longer gap of nine months.

This comes after the advisory panel also recommended increasing the gap between two doses of Covishield to 12-16 weeks. Previously the gap between two doses of Covishield was four to eight weeks.

The expert panel is learnt to have looked at both national and international data to review the timeline so that there was no risk of reinfection.

The panel has said that increasing the gap between having the infection and getting the first jab can further help increase antibodies.

Economic Times quoted a senior government official as saying, “We have recommended a vaccine ‘sparing strategy’ which includes a longer waiting period for the first dose for those who have tested Covid-19 positive."

The panel has also suggested that pregnant and lactating women be made eligible for vaccination.

A decision on the matter will be taken by the health ministry in a couple of days.

According to the World Health Organisation, a gap of six months between recovery and the first dose of Covid vaccine is safe.

The NTAGI had earlier said those who received the first dose of vaccine and tested positive before the second shot should wait for four to eight weeks after recovering from the infection. It had suggested patients who had been given monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma can defer vaccination for three months from the day they are out of the hospital.

Those with any other serious illness requiring hospitalisation or ICU care should also wait for four to eight weeks before getting the next vaccine, the panel had suggested last week.

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    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.

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    first published:May 18, 2021, 13:05 IST
    last updated:May 18, 2021, 13:27 IST