People who tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered should wait for six to nine months after infection to get their first vaccine dose, a government panel has recommended.
The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) said it suggested increasing the time gap to ensure there was no risk of reinfection. However, the same panel had earlier said the gap should be of six months.
A few days back, NTAGI had suggested increasing the gap between two doses of Covishield (for non-infected persons) from 4-8 weeks to 12-16 weeks.
By increasing the gap between recovery from infection and the first dose, the body will get a chance to increase antibodies, NTAGI members suggest.
Importantly, the committee also suggested that pregnant and lactating women be vaccinated.
The NTAGI had earlier suggested that patients on monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma can wait for three months from the day of hospital discharge to get the first dose.
The panel had said last week that individuals with serious illness who were hospitalised should wait for 4-8 weeks before getting the next COVID vaccine.
The World Health Organisation too had recommended a gap of six months (24 weeks) between recovery and the first dose of Covid vaccine.
The Union Health Ministry is expected to take a decision on the matter in a few days.