#Coronavirus

Pregnant, Lactating Women Not To Be Given COVID-19 Vaccine For Now, Says Health Ministry

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The Health Ministry said on Thursday that pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take any COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the first phase of mass vaccination drive set to be launched on January 16. The reason being that pregnant patients have not been part of any anti-coronavirus vaccine clinical trial so far, the ministry in a letter to all states and Union territories.

While two coronavirus vaccines – Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin — have been granted approval for emergency use in India, interchangeability of vaccines is not authorised, the letter (written by Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary, Union health ministry) noted, ANI reported.

Also Read: COVID-19: 90-Year-Old Margaret Keenan Receives First Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine In UK

Ministry’s handy factsheet of major Dos and don’ts:

1. Coronavirus vaccination can be administered to 18 years and above age.

2. The ministry has also highlighted that if required, COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines should be separated by an interval of at least 14 days.

3. “Interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines is not permitted,” the ministry said, adding that once a person is vaccinated, the second dose should also have to be of the same COVID-19 vaccine as the first dose.

4. “Second dose of vaccination should be administered within 4 to 6 weeks,” Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja told ANI before the shots roll out on Saturday. She urged people to report even “minor complications” after taking the first dose and noted that “no one should spread misconceptions about vaccines,” as there is nothing to fear.

5. The ministry also stressed on the fact that pregnant patients (or not sure of their pregnancy) and lactating women should not receive COVID-19 vaccine at this time as they have not been a part of “vaccine clinical trial so far.”

6. The coronavirus shots should be administered with caution in persons “with past history of SARS-CoV-2 infection and or RT-PCR positive illness,” the letter highlighted. It also noted that after receiving the vaccines, those with a history of chronic diseases and morbidities and immuno-deficiency need to be cautiously monitored. HIV patients along with other bleeding or coagulation disorder should be monitored as well, the letter stated.

7. Both the vaccines have reached across the country to all states and Union territories.

8. COVID-19 vaccination should be deferred for four to eight weeks in case a patient has active symptoms of SARS-CoV2 or has been given anti-SARS-CoV2 monoclonal antibodies on convalescent plasma and in patients who have been hospitalised or are acutely unwell due to any other illness.

Feature Image Credit: Business Standard

Also Read: Can Make Mutation-Beating COVID-19 Vaccine In Six Weeks, BioNTech Founder Assures

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