The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday said vaccination can now be deferred by three months after clinical recovery from the illness. Accepting recommendations from the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC), the government further said if an individual is infected with coronavirus after the first dose, the second dose should be also deferred by three months after recovering from the infection.
There will be no requirement for screening of vaccine recipients by a Rapid Antigen Test kit prior to vaccination against COVID-19, it further said.
The expert panel also recommended inoculation of all lactating women. NEGVAC is providing guidance to the government on prioritisation of population groups, procurement and inventory management, vaccine selection and vaccine delivery and tracking mechanism.
Regarding vaccination of pregnant women, the matter is under discussion and will be further deliberated by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, the government said.
So far, over 18.57 crore doses of vaccines have been administered against coronavirus since the beginning of the drive in January. The Health Ministry said 64,60,624 beneficiaries in the age group of 18-44 years across 36 states and union territories have received their first doses since the start of the third phase of the vaccination drive on May 1.