COVID-19 vaccination, including boosters, 3 months after recovery: Centre
The central government on Friday said people who have had lab test proven coronavirus infection will have to wait for three months after recovery to receive a COVID-19 vaccine dose. The rule also applies to the "precautionary" booster doses of the vaccine that are presently being administered to select high-risk groups. The advisory from the Centre comes amid a significant surge in COVID-19 cases.
- There has long been confusion among people regarding the appropriate waiting period between infection recovery and COVID-19 vaccination.
- Some people also question the need for vaccination after contracting the coronavirus, but several studies suggest immunity from natural infection wanes within a few months.
- India had started administering booster doses to healthcare workers, frontline staffers, and senior citizens from January 10.
The guideline was issued by Union Health Ministry Additional Secretary Vikas Sheel in a letter to all states and union territories. "I request you to kindly direct the concerned officials to take note," Sheel wrote in the letter. The guideline is based on scientific evidence and recommendations from the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), he added.
Under India's COVID-19 vaccination drive, more than 161 crore vaccine doses have been administered across the country. While 94% of Indian adults have received their first dose, 72% are fully vaccinated, according to government data. Meanwhile, over 50% of children in the 15-18 age group have receive their first dose of the vaccine, since the inoculation drive began for that cohort on January 3.
On Saturday morning, India reported over 3,37,000 new coronavirus cases—marginally lower than Friday's case count. The daily positivity rate stood at 17.22% and the weekly positivity rate at 16.65%. Active cases have jumped to 21,13,365, the highest number in as many as 237 days. Meanwhile, the country's tally of infections involving the new Omicron variant has crossed the 10,000-mark.