As the government panel on Tuesday suggested covid-recovered patients to defer the vaccine by nine months, experts have weighed in saying that anything beyond six months could be risky owing to chances of reinfection. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Dr Priya Sampathkumar and Dr Rahul Pandit said the antibodies against covid-19 last upto six months and any delay in getting a vaccine after that would mean higher chances of getting the infection again. “Anything beyond six months is risky,” Dr Pandit said, adding that only oxygen and steroids have shown effective results in covid-19 treatment.
The two doctors also spoke about usage of anti-bacterial medicines in Covid-19 treatment. Overuse of antibacterials could also mean higher risk of balck fungus infection, Dr Sampath Kumar of the Mayo Clinic said. She said the treatment should only be given in hospitalisation as the patient runs a higher risk of secondary infections.
She said the fears are that India already has high rate of anti-microbial resistance and covid-19 is going to make it worse, adding that overuse of antibiotics could trigger black fungus infections.
Sampathkumar also said that ICMR’s new guidelines on plasma therapy need to be given more publicity. People in India have been running from pillar to post to get plasma of covid-recovered patients for treatment in severe cases. However, the treatment was dropped out by the ICMR on Monday.
The decision to drop plasma therapy was taken on Monday based on recommendations of experts from AIIMS, ICMR-Covid-19 National Task Force and Joint Monitoring Group of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, and the Government of India.
Last week, in a meeting of the ICMR-National Task Force for Covid-19, all members had ruled in favour of removing the use of convalescent plasma from the Clinical Guidance for Management of Adult COVID-19 Patients citing its ineffectiveness and inappropriate use in several cases, they said.
The guidelines earlier allowed “off label” use of plasma therapy at the stage of early moderate disease, that is, within seven days of the onset of symptoms and if there is the availability of a high titre donor plasma.