In a letter to all the State Governments and Union Territories (UTs), the Union Ministry for Health on Thursday (14 January) said that pregnant and lactating women should not be administered the shots of COVID-19 vaccine as they have not been a part of any Coronavirus vaccine clinical trials so far, reports Economic Times.
The letter also warned against the interchangeability of different COVID-19 vaccine and emphasised that the second dose of the vaccine should also be of the same one which was administered in the first dosage. It has also added that in case of any other vaccinations, the COVID-19 vaccination and the other vaccinations should be separated by an interval of at least 14 days.
The Ministry of Health has highlighted that the emergency use authorisation (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccinations have only been allowed for people aged 18 or above.
The letter from the ministry's Additional Secretary Manohar Agnani has also listed the precautions and contraindications for vaccination along with a comparative factsheet for both the vaccines which have been accorded EUA so far, Covishield and Covaxin.
The factsheet contains information about the vaccine platform, physical specifications, dosage, cold-chain storage requirements, contraindications and minor AEFIs (adverse event following immunization). The letter has emphasised that this information should be disseminated to the programme managers across all levels and through them to the cold-chain handlers and vaccinators.
"Pregnant and lactating women have not been a part of any COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial so far. Therefore, women who are pregnant or not sure of their pregnancy and lactating women should not receive COVID-19 vaccine at this time," the letter stated.
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