According to the Government of India database, almost 65.6 crore Covid19 vaccinations are already administered by the last week of August. Did you know that over 88% of these vaccines are Covishield? Does that mean that Covishield is more preferred? Or that the production of Covaxin is less? What is the difference between the two?
In the fight between Covishield vs Covaxin, let’s understand the differences.
Covishield is the Covid 19 vaccine developed by Oxford - Astra Zeneca, manufactured at Serum Institute of India. Covishield vaccine is made by using the viral vector platform. It includes modifying a chimpanzee adenovirus to carry Covid-19 spike protein. The cold virus cannot infect the person receiving it but can help the body’s immune system to make antibodies.
Covaxin, on the other hand, is made by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, with the National Institute of Virology and the Indian Medical Research Council. It is an inactive viral vaccine, which can not attack the body but help form antibodies.
While considering Covaxin vs Covishield, one should know that the latter has got WHO’s approval for use. A recent announcement by Niti Aayog claims that Covaxin’s approval may come by September 2021.
Doctors and nurses administer 0.5 ml of the Covishield vaccine or Covaxin vaccine in the upper arm region of an individual. The Covishield vaccine is given in two doses, 84 days or 12-14 weeks apart. Doctors administer Covaxin in two doses, but they are 30 days apart.
Both the vaccines can be kept in temperatures 2 to 8 degrees Centigrade. It makes it easier for storage in a refrigerator and is ideal for the Indian climate. Transporting the vaccines also becomes easy.
Covishield is the first vaccine to get approval for administration in age groups 18 and above. The vaccine has a proven 71% efficacy rate that can scale up to 91% when the nurse administers both doses. Covishield is available for free at government set-ups and is the least expensive of the available vaccines at private organizations.
Covaxin also has approval for administration in ages above 18 years. Bharat Biotech team is working on clinical trials for administering Covaxin in children above 12 years. Covaxin has a proven 78% efficacy rate that can scale up to 100%. Covaxin is available at Rs.1200 per dose.
Some Covishield side effects one may come across include fever, body ache, headache, pain at the injection site, and vomiting. The symptoms are higher after the first dose and don’t go beyond two to three days.
Covaxin side effects are much milder and limited. Some of the side effects are swelling in the injection site, a difficulty raising the arm, drowsiness, body ache, and headache.
With the Delta variant spreading and the anticipated third wave, studies are showing a decline in vaccine efficacy against it. Covishield has come down to a 65% efficacy and 61% for Covaxin. Even though vaccines do not stop one from getting the infection, it helps fight the Coviid19 infection. Vaccines remarkably reduce the chances of landing up in the hospital.
Sputnik and Moderna are the vaccines creating a buss lately. While Sputnik is readily available in most cities, Moderna is yet to enter India. Through the WHO’s COVAX program, India is to receive over 7.5 million Moderna doses.
As the choices increase, people will get an opportunity to make an informed decision and pick one. But, delaying the vaccine at the moment can cost one their life. With the approaching third wave, people should get any available vaccine and take all Covid19 appropriate precautions. If one still has concerns about the vaccine or is in a situation where the vaccine is contraindicated, they should connect with a doctor immediately.
For information on the Covid-19 Home Quarantine Program, connect with DayToDay Health on https://www.covid.daytoday.health/contact-us