Covid Care

Covishield vs Covaxin: What’s the difference

DayToDay Team
September 15, 2021

According to the Government of India database, almost 169 crore Covid19 vaccinations are already administered by the first week of February. These include the first, second, and booster doses of vaccines. 94% of the individuals eligible for the vaccine have at least got one dose and 72% of this population is fully vaccinated. Do you know if Covishield is preferred over Covaxin? Or if one has more severe symptoms than the other?

Covaxin vs Covishield

We tell you in our article which vaccine is right for you and which is not, we also give you information about what side effects this vaccine can cause. Hopefully, read our article carefully because it is very important for you to have this information.

We know you all need to know that to avoid Coronavirus, what vaccine you need to get – Covaxin vs Covishield. All the information on how to do this can be found in our article How Good This Vaccine Is For You Or How Many benefits or disadvantages it has.

In the fight between Covishield vs Covaxin, let’s understand the differences.

How is the vaccine made?

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.

Dosage and Storage

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.

Approval status, Efficacy rate, and Pricing

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.

Symptoms and side-effects

Some Covishield symptoms 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. Some people may or may not have such severe symptoms after taking the second dose.

Individuals allergic to Covishield may experience Covishield side effects like redness and severe itching at the injection site, swelling in the arm, difficulty in lifting the arm, myalgia, malaise, nausea, arthralgia, and pyrexia.

Covaxin symptoms are mild and limited. Some of these symptoms are swelling in the injection site, difficulty in raising the arm, drowsiness, body ache, and headache. Covaxin symptoms are a lot milder after the second dose.

If one is allergic to Covaxin, they may experience Covaxin side effects like rashes all over the body with an increase in blood pressure. Adverse reactions due to Covaxin include swelling in the throat, difficulty in breathing, nausea, vomiting, and fever.

Note: Covishield and Covaxin do not cause any fertility-related side effects. All vaccines undergo numerous trials to establish their safety and efficacy, before being given to the public. They can safely be given to pregnant women, women who are trying to conceive, and women who are breastfeeding. In case one has a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine, they must immediately contact their healthcare provider or doctor for appropriate intervention.

Latest Updates about the Vaccine

With the Delta and Omicron 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. The Indian government approved Covaxin and Covishield for use in ages above 15 years in January 2022. A third booster is also being provided to all frontline workers and individuals above 60 years of age, after the sudden outburst of Omicron this year.

Sputnik and Moderna are the vaccines creating a buss lately. While Sputnik is readily available in most cities, Moderna is yet to enter India. Other vaccinations which have gotten approval but are not available in the market yet include Johnson & Johnson, ZyCoV-D, Corbevax, Covovax, and Sputnik Light.


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 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

Alexis den Boggende
Alexis den Boggende
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Olivia Casale
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Danny Biel
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Prem Sharma
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Christine Hsieh
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