New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Friday said that pregnant women can be vaccinated against the COVID-19. While addressing a press conference on behalf of the Union Health Ministry, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Dr. Balram Bhargava said, “The Ministry of Health has given guidelines that the vaccine can be given to the pregnant woman.”Also Read - COVID-19 And Air Pollution: This Study Reveals Air Pollution May Increase COVID Severity, Even For Vaccinated

“The vaccine is useful for the pregnant woman and it should be given,” Dr. Bhargava said. Also Read - Health Awards 2022: IDPL Felicitates Healthcare Warriors Of India

Dr Bhargava said that in terms of administering COVID-19 vaccines to children is still debatable until relevant data is available. Also Read - Khosta-2, New COVID-Like Virus Found In Russian Bats, Can Infect Humans - All You Need To Know

“There is only one country that is giving vaccines to children at the moment. Whether very small children will ever need vaccines, is still a question. Till such time, we have more data on vaccination of children, we would not be in a position to vaccinate children at large,” the ICMR director said.

“However, we have started a study on children between 2 years to 18 years and we will have a result on it by September,” he added.

During the conference, Director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr SK Singh informed that a total of 48 cases of Delta Plus variant of COVID-19 coronavirus have been detected in the country so far.

Dr Singh said, “Eight states are important where we have found more than 50 per cent of the variant of concern. These are Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Telangana, and West Bengal.”

“Covidshield and Covaxin work against the variants of SARS CoV 2 — alpha, beta, gamma as well as delta. Delta Plus is present in 12 countries. As many as 48 cases have been identified in India but more importantly, they have been very localised,” Dr Bhargava said regarding the Delta Plus variant of COVID-19.

Delta Plus or AY.1 will always remain a variant of concern (VoC) as it is mutated from the Delta variant (B.1.617.2), which is also a VoC, he added.

Meanwhile, Joint Secretary of the Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal informed that the recovery rate has increased to 96.7 per cent.

“In the 4th week of May, 531 districts of the country were reporting more than 100 cases. In the 2nd week of June, it fell down to 262 districts. Right now only 125 districts in the country are reporting more than 100 cases,” Agarwal added.