NCOC Issues New Guidelines for COVID-19 Vaccinations

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has released new guidelines for the administration of the single-dose Chinese COVID-19 vaccine CanSino as vaccination centers across the country begin dispensing it to citizens.

Besides the standard recommendations and protocol, the NCOC has advised people who are experiencing coronavirus-type symptoms to abstain from receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. More detail about this will be disclosed later.


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As per the regulations, the governing body on the coronavirus has disclosed the following particulars for inoculation:

Administration of Vaccines

  • Route of Administration: Intra-muscular.
  • Site of Administration: Lateral Deltoid Muscle (upper Arm), non-dominant side.
  • Dose: 0.5ml/vial.
  • Presentation: Single-dose vial.
  • Regimen: Single shot.


  • Storage and transportation in refrigerated (2-8 °C) condition.
    Do not freeze the vaccine in any circumstance.
    Do not expose the vaccine to direct sunlight.

Who Should Receive the Vaccine?

  • Adults aged 18 years and above

Who Should Not Receive the Vaccine?

  • Patients with a fever at the time of the vaccination (vaccination to be rescheduled after the illness has passed).
  • Patients with active COVID-19.
  • Those with mild COVID-19 may receive the vaccine after completing the duration of the quarantine.
  • Those with severe COVID-19 may receive the vaccine after their conditions have stabilized.
  • Individuals on short-term immuno-responsive medication should wait for 28 days after the medication ends.
  • Chronically immunosuppressed individuals may receive the vaccine, although its efficacy may be lower:
    o Individuals, post-transplantation, may receive the vaccine three months after transplantation.
    o Cancer patients may receive the vaccine 28 days after chemotherapy.
  • Individuals with severe and/or uncontrolled cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, liver diseases, renal diseases, endocrine disorders, and neurological illnesses.

Steps of Administration

  • Wear a mask and follow the COVID-19 SOPs.
  • Greet the recipient.
  • Complete the verification process in the NIMS.
  • Ensure the consent of the recipient by stating “you are receiving this COVID-19 vaccine because you have
    registered yourself into the system”.
  • Expose the site (deltoid of non-dominant arm) for the administration of the vaccine.
  • Explain the procedure and inform the recipient that some pain or discomfort may be experienced at the site of
    the injection and that a fever may develop after the injection.
  • Disinfect the injection site with an alcohol swab for 30 seconds, and then let the area dry for another
    30 seconds so that the alcohol does not enter the puncture and sting.
  • Take the vaccine vial out of the vaccine carrier.
  • Remove the plastic cover/cap on the vial to open it.
  • Take out a 22G-25G 0.5 ml syringe and remove the cap of the needle.
  • Discard the cap in a safety box.
  • Insert the needle of the syringe through the top rubber pad of the vaccine vial.
  • Draw 0.5 ml of the vaccine from the vial.
  • Inject the vaccine intramuscularly at the site of the injection at an angle of 90⁰ (right angle).
  • Dispose of the syringe in the safety box.
  • Complete the recipient’s entry details in the NIMS.
  • Send the recipient to the observation area for 30 minutes.


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The NCOC strictly states that the following activities must be refrained from during vaccination:

  • Touching the rubber pad of the vaccine vial (this causes contamination and can result in an AEFI).
  • Recapping the needle of a syringe (to prevent needle stick injuries).

These recommendations will be reviewed regularly by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination, and will be updated based on the international and national recommendations pertaining to the preferred practices.