New Delhi: The Central government on Wednesday (May 19, 2021) accepted the new recommendations by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) to defer the coronavirus vaccination by three months after clinical recovery from the illness.

The Union Health Ministry also announced that if an individual is infected with COVID-19 after receiving the first dose, the second dose of vaccination should also be deferred by three months after recovering from the infection.

“Persons with any other serious illness requiring hospitalization or ICU care to also wait for 4-8 weeks before getting the vaccine,” the Union Health Ministry said.

The Union Health Ministry added that there will be no need to present or screen the vaccine recipients by a Rapid Antigen Test kit before the COVID-19 vaccination.

NEGVAC is currently advising the Government of India on matters related to COVID-19 vaccines like prioritisation of population groups, procurement and inventory management, vaccine selection, delivery and tracking mechanism.

Additionally, the expert panel recommended inoculation of all lactating women, but the government said that the matter is under discussion and will be further deliberated by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.

On the other hand, the advisory committee on the COVID-19 vaccines had also recommended increasing the gap between two doses of Covishield to 12-16 weeks, which is currently set at four to eight weeks.

As per the media reports, earlier, a government panel, namely The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), had recommended deferring the COVID-19 vaccination for those recovered from infection by six to nine months.

As per the Health Ministry’s data over 18.57 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the country so far. According to the data, 64,60,624 beneficiaries in the age group of 18-44 years have received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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