COVID-19 survivors can now be vaccinated right after recovery, says DOH

By: Cathrine Gonzales – Reporter / @cgonzalesINQ

COVID-19 survivors can now be vaccinated immediately after recovery, according to revised vaccination guidelines from the Department of Health (DOH).

Section B.1 of DOH Department Memorandum No. 2021-0175 dated April 8, states that “Section III E.5 of Department Circular No. 2021-0157 is amended for simplification that all vaccine recipients who contracted COVID-19 may be vaccinated after recovery or completion of treatment, whether for the first or second dose, without restarting the vaccine dose schedule.”

Section III E.5 of the Department Circular Np. 2021-0157 dated March 30 states that all vaccine recipients who had COVID-19 after the first dose may be given the second dose provided that a 14-day  from recovery or completion of treatment is met, without restarting the vaccine dose schedule.

Before the 14-day interval, original DOH guidelines state that people who have tested positive for COVID-19 should wait 90 days before getting vaccinated.

Earlier this month, the DOH earlier said it is studying the recommendation of experts that COVID-19 patients who have already recovered from the respiratory disease be immediately vaccinated.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that health experts made this recommendation following new studies about vaccination after recovery and in view of the widespread community transmission in Metro Manila.

Meanwhile, for vaccine recipients whose second dose should be delayed due to deferment guidelines, the second dose “may be provided immediately after the prescribed periods in the deferment guidelines without a maximum time interval, unless otherwise indicated,” according to the latest DOH memorandum.

“Only patients presenting with sBP (systolic blood pressure) > 180 and/or dBP (diastolic blood pressure) >120 with signs and symptoms of organ damage (hypertensive emergency) should be deferred for vaccination,” the document read.

According to DOH, these patients will be referred to physicians on duty at the vaccination site and be taken to emergency rooms immediately.

“Other eligible vaccine recipients who do not meet blood pressure cutoffs for hypertensive emergency or target organ damage shall be vaccinated,” the memorandum added.

Meanwhile, pregnant and lactating women may be offered vaccination if they belong to the priority groups for vaccination. However, pregnant women should not receive the vaccines during their first trimester.

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