Follow Us:
Sunday, June 26, 2022

Explained: Who can take the Covid-19 vaccine, and who are advised not to?

Coronavirus vaccine: Is it safe for pregnant women, people out of hospital, or those with chronic illness? The Indian Express takes stock of government advisory

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: January 30, 2021 10:50:32 am
coronavirus, covid 19, coronavirus vaccine, covid 19 vaccine, coronavirus vaccine news, coronavirus vaccine latest news, covid vaccine, corona vaccine, Coronavirus vaccinationDr V S Chauhan, former director of International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (known for his efforts to develop a vaccine for malaria), said those with diabetes and obesity must be in the priority list.

Delay after hospitalisation

The Health Ministry on January 14 circulated a note on precautions and contraindications (reasons not to give the Covid-19 vaccine to certain people). The vaccine is only for people above the age of 18. Interchangeability is not allowed, which means that the second dose should be of the same vaccine (Covishield or Covaxin) that was given as the first dose. For acutely unwell or hospitalised patients due to any illness, vaccination can be deferred for four to eight weeks after recovery.

Not for pregnant women

Pregnancy alters the body’s immune system and its response to viral infections in general, which can occasionally be reflected in more severe symptoms. This holds true for Covid-19 as well. Pregnant or lactating women have not been part of any Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial, and so women who are pregnant or not sure of their pregnancy, as well as lactating women, should not receive the vaccine at this time, experts have said. This is also part of the Health Ministry advisory.

Best of Express Premium
Fresh FIR against RB Sreekumar, Sanjiv Bhatt and Teesta Setalvad based on...Premium
After Moosewala’s murder, spotlight back on (Punjabi) gangs of CanadaPremium
IAS officer son death: The discrepanciesPremium
Newsmaker | Among first to take up cause of Gujarat riot victims, Teesta ...Premium

Those with weaker immunity

The Ministry has advised caution in vaccinating persons with a history of bleeding or coagulation disorder. A Bharat Biotech fact sheet says the vaccine is not advisable for persons with allergies, bleeding disorder or weaker immunity, or on medicine that affects the immune system. Dr Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India, said that for those with compromised immunity, “I would say inactivated virus (Bharat Biotech vaccine) is safer but it is up to the treating doctor to decide.”

Chronic illness no bar

Among those who are not contraindicated and can take the vaccine are persons with a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, those with a history of chronic diseases and morbidities (cardiac, neurological, pulmonary, metabolic, renal, malignancies), or immunodeficiency HIV, and patients on immune suppression due to any condition. This was part of the advisory sent by Dr Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, on January 14 to chief secretaries across states, mission directors and state immunisation directors.

Diabetics & the obese

Dr V S Chauhan, former director of International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (known for his efforts to develop a vaccine for malaria), said those with diabetes and obesity must be in the priority list. “Anyone who is susceptible to allergies – if they decide to take the vaccine — have to be observed very carefully. However, for those people who are heavily immune-compromised, the vaccine does not really hurt them but the system for mounting antibodies responses would be slow,” Dr Chauhan said.

📣 JOIN NOW 📣: The Express Explained Telegram Channel

Voluntary, but advisable

Individuals who have one or more co-morbid conditions can take the vaccine as they are at high risk, and their medication will not interfere with vaccine efficacy, said Dr Randeep Guleria, Director of AIIMS, during an audiovisual session on questions on the vaccine; the video has been posted on the Health Ministry website. Vaccination is voluntary but it is advisable to protect oneself and close contacts, Dr Guleria said. Over 28 lakh health workers have been vaccinated in India in 13 days.

Express Subscription Do not hit the wall, subscribe for the best coverage out of India starting at just $5 per month

📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates

For all the latest Explained News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by