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Covaxin vs Covishield: What we know about India’s COVID-19 vaccines?

Covaxin vs Covishield: What we know about India’s COVID-19 vaccines?

India is now just behind the United States, which has registered more than 32.1 million positive cases of COVID-19 (SARS-COV-2), with a cumulative case tally of more than 17 million. Brazil is now in third place, with 14.3 million cases. About 109 million people in India have already received one dose, and over 17 million have received two doses and are fully vaccinated.

From May 1, 2021 Government of India has announced the 4th phase of vaccination for everyone over the age of 18 against COVID-19. Both Covaxin and Covishield are effective against multiple variants of COVID-19 and “double mutant” strain (B.1.617) which has recently caused the rise in COVID-19 cases in Delhi, Maharashtra and other states of India. So, it’s needful to get vaccinated!

Who developed Covaxin and Covishield?

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Oxford University’s developed Covishield in partnership with AstraZeneca, now being manufactured by Serum Institute of India, Pune are two India’s manufactured Covid vaccines currently in use in India. Both are similar in some ways, but they are vastly different in others.

In collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited developed Covaxin, an inactivated vaccine. It’s built on a tried-and-true foundation of dead viruses.

Covaxin: How it works?

Whole-virion inactivated Vero cell-derived platform technology was used to produce the Covaxin vaccine. Since there are no chances of replication in inactivated vaccines, they are unlikely to revert and cause disease.

They contain dead viruses that are unable to infect people but can still instruct the immune system to launch a protective response in the face of infection.

Covishield: How it works?

The viral vector platform supports Covishield. The vector that has been adapted to bring the coronavirus spike protein into human cells is a chimpanzee adenovirus called ChAdOx1. While the injected cold virus is harmless, it does act as a guide for the body on how to combat other viruses. Infections such as Ebola are treated with this platform.

Doses

In terms of dose, there is no distinction between the two vaccines. Both of them are on a two-dose schedule that is given 4-6 weeks apart.

Efficacy

Covishield has a 70.4 percent efficacy and nearly 90 percent overall effectiveness (Global reports). In the third phase trial results, Covaxin was found to have an 81 percent efficacy.

Price

States will receive Rs 400 per dose of Covishield, while private hospitals will receive Rs 600 per dose. Covaxin, on the other hand, would cost the states Rs 600 per dose and private hospitals Rs 1200 per dose. For free vaccination, people have to visit the government hospital.

Side effects

Injection site pain, swelling, redness, itching, discomfort in the upper arm, weakness in the injection arm, body ache, headache, fever, malaise, weakness, rashes, nausea, and vomiting are some of the mild side effects of Covaxin. According to the manufacturer, there is a small risk that the vaccine could cause a serious allergic reaction. Breathing difficulties, swelling of the face and mouth, a rapid heartbeat, rashes all over the body, dizziness, and fatigue are all signs of a serious adverse event.

Tenderness, discomfort, warmth, redness, scratching, swelling or bleeding where the injection is administered, general feeling unwell, chills or feeling feverish, headache, or joint aches are some of the most common side effects of Covishield.

Why is it necessary to get vaccinated, even though new strains of the virus have emerged?

Vaccines are a key weapon in the fight against COVID-19, and using the resources we already have clear public health and lifesaving benefits. So, we must not delay vaccination because of our reservations about new variants, and we must continue vaccination even if the vaccinations are less successful against some COVID-19 virus variants. We must make use of the resources we already have while still working to strengthen them. We are all secure only if everyone is safe.

How should we register for the Covid-19 vaccine?

Online vaccine enrolment can be done on CoWin platform and AarogyaSetu mobile’s application. The digital platform COVID-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) system, would track enrolled beneficiaries and COVID-19 vaccines in real-time. The link is http://www.cowin.gov.in.

Only pre-registered beneficiaries will be vaccinated at the vaccination site, so there will be no scope for on-the-spot registrations, as per the standardization.

Registered candidates will be intimated about the Dispensary or Clinic, the venue of vaccination  and the time of administration via their registered phone number.

What types of documentation would be available for registration?

Driving license, MGNERGA work card, PAN card, bank passbook, passport, pension certificate, voter ID, official IDs of MPs/ MLAs/ MLCs, government-issued service ID card, and Ministry of Labour-issued health insurance smartcard are among the ten documents required for registration.

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