A government panel has recommended that those testing positive for coronavirus can defer their vaccination for six months after recovery as against the current protocol of four to eight weeks. The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), an advisory group on the Covid-19 vaccines, also suggested increasing the gap between two doses of Covishield vaccine to 12-16 week, news agency PTI reported quoting sources.
Currently, the interval between two dosage is four to eight weeks. The expert panel, however, did not suggest any change for dosage interval of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. The recommendations come amid acute shortage of vaccines across the country with pending second dose schedules falling behind time. NTAGI’s recommendations will now be sent to the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) for approval.
In case of individuals who have received the first dose and before completion of the dosing schedule if they test positive for COVID-19, they should wait for 4-8 weeks after clinical recovery from the illness.
“Based on the available real life evidence particularly from the UK, the COVID-19 working group agreed for increasing the dosing interval to 12-16 weeks between two doses of Covishield vaccine.No change in interval of Covaxin vaccine doses was recommended,” PTI reported quoting sources.
Earlier in March, the dosage interval for SII’s covashield was increased from 28 days to six to eight weeks. In another announcement, the panel said pregnant women may take any one of the two Covid-19 vaccines and lactating women are also eligible for jabs at any time after delivery. Also, all lactating women are eligible to receive the COVID 19 vaccines any time after delivery, the panel suggested. The panel also rejected the proposal for routinely screening all vaccine recipients with rapid antigen testing prior to COVID vaccination.
Several states and UTs including Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana have decided to opt for global tenders for procurement of anti-coronavirus shots with the domestic supply falling short to meet the rising demand.