No Covid shots for pregnant and lactating women

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 15, 2021

Pune: Trucks carrying the first consignment of Covid-19 vaccination prepare to leave for Pune airport from Serum Institute of India, in Pune, early Tuesday   -  PTI

Some recipients may develop mild adverse effects

Pregnant and lactating women among the health care workers will not receive Covid-19 vaccine while the inoculation of active Covid-19 patients. Those who received convalescent plasma therapy and anti-SARS-CoV2 monoclonal antibodies will  have to wait for four to eight weeks after the recovery, according to an official communication issued to the States and Union Territories on Thursday. 

In a letter written to State Health Secretaries and State Immunisation Officers, Manohar Agnani,  Additional Secretary in Health Ministry, said persons who have allergic reactions to vaccines, injectable therapies, pharmaceutical products and food products would also not get the shot. Both vaccines will be administered only to those who are above 18 years old. 

It also informed the State authorities that persons who are to get Covid-19 and any other vaccine, the gap between two jabs should be at least 14 days. Similarly, interchangeability of the Covid-19 vaccine shots is permitted. In other words, a person receiving the first shot of Covishield should get the second dose of the same vaccine, not that of Covaxin.

Both these vaccines have a shelf life of six months and vaccinators were told to discard the vaccine vial if the content is found frozen, solution discoloured or visible particles are found inside. 

The letter also warned that some recipients may develop mild adverse effects following immunisation (AEFI) such as injection site tenderness, injection site pain, headache, fatigue, nausea and vomiting among others. 

In the case of Covishield, it said some very rare events of demyelinating disorders (damage to the protective covering that surrounds nerve fibres in the brain) have been reported following vaccination, though no causal link has been established. 

The letter also advised those who receiving Covaxin to stay away from chloroquine and Corticosteroids as they may impair antibody response. 

Published on January 14, 2021

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