National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) chairperson Dr NK Arora on Monday justified the government’s decision to defer vaccination by three months after clinical recovery from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and said that India based all its decisions regarding vaccination on science, according to news agency ANI.
“We use scientific evidence and make the best use of vaccines. We are not just trying to have the best efficacy but also trying to see that the country is protected from various variants and waves of coronavirus going forward. We know coronavirus will stay for some time and we want to ensure that the people are adequately protected. Here, I must also say that the vaccine shortage is only for the next six weeks,” NK Arora said.
Earlier, the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) had recommended that the vaccination should be deferred by three months after clinical recovery of the illness.
According to the Union health ministry, these recommendations were made based on “emerging global scientific evidence and experience”. In case a person gets infected with the disease after getting the first dose of their vaccine, the second dose should be deferred by three months after recovery, the recommendations add.
“We know from July onwards the manufacturing of Covaxin and Covishield will increase 20-25 crore doses per month. In addition, we will be having other vaccines also like Zydus Cadila, Sputnik V, Johnson & Johnson in coming months,” NK Arora said.
NTAGI recommendations state that according to two studies, one conducted in the UK and the other in the US, chances of reinfection in people get diminished by 84-91% in the 6-7 months following infection because of the presence of antibodies in their systems.
Meanwhile, India’s decision to defer vaccination of recovered patients by three months was based on data of 1,400 subjects that showed risk of reinfection after 102 days of recovery at only 4.5%, the NTAGI chairperson added.
(with ANI inputs)