From the early stages of the pandemic, India was at the forefront of the vaccination race against COVID-19. And now, as the country’s national vaccination program continues at an extraordinary rate, Indians are being vaccinated daily against the deadly virus.
The success of India’s vaccination strategy can be largely attributed to its major vaccine manufacturers: the Pune Institute of Serum in India and the Bharat Biological Technology Complex in Hyderabad. The two companies produce millions of vials of COVID-19 vaccine not only for the Indian government but also for other countries.
But how to compare these two vaccines? Is one better than the other? Which of them should be vaccinated?
How do vaccines work?
There are four different types of vaccine available against COVID, namely the whole virus (again, it may be an attenuated form or an inactivated coronavirus), a protein subunit, a nucleic acid (RNA or DNA), and a viral vector.
Covishield is based on a viral vector platform. Simply put, it is made from a weakened version of a virus called adenovirus, from chimpanzees, and has been modified to look more like a coronavirus.
On the other hand, Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine. It contains a dead virus that elicits an immune response but does not infect humans.
Both vaccines require two doses with an interval of 28 days and can be stored at a normal refrigerator temperature of 2-8 degrees Celsius.
Which vaccine is more effective?
Both vaccines have shown promising results in relevant clinical trials.
Peer-reviewed phase III Covishield test results show that it is up to 90% effective. The results also showed that the vaccine was only 62% effective when participants were given two full doses, but its effectiveness increased to 90% when half the dose was given followed by a full dose. Most likely, the vaccine will be effective against the new strain.
Bharat Biotech and Ocugen have jointly announced that Covaxin has shown an efficacy of 80.6% in phase 3. The vaccine can induce antibodies that can neutralize even the UK strain and other heterologous strains.
How safe are they and what are the side effects?
One aspect where Covaxin has an obvious advantage is the appropriate age group. Covaxin can be given to anyone over 12 years of age, while Covishield was considered safe only for people over 18 years of age.
Covishield has several side effects such as pain, redness, itching, swelling or bruising, malaise, fatigue, chills, fever, headache, nausea, joint pain and muscle aches, but they are mostly mild to moderate. nature. And you can treat with over-the-counter pills. It is also known to cause allergic reactions such as itchy skin rash, shortness of breath and swelling of the face or tongue, so if you have a history of allergies, it is advisable to consult a doctor.
Similarly, Covaxin also caused side effects, including pain and swelling at the injection site, redness at the injection site, itching at the injection site, stiffness in the upper arm, weakness in the arm, body pain, headache, fever, malaise, weakness, rash, nausea, vomiting. However, Covaxin is less likely to cause any allergic reaction.
Before vaccination, it is best to tell your doctor in advance if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, immunocompromised, or facing any other serious health problem.
For the Indian government, the price difference between Covishield and Covaxin will not be large.
The Serum Institute will supply doses to India at 110 varnishes for 200 Indian rupees each. The government will also purchase doses of 55 varnishes from Bharat Biotech, for about INR 206 each. The price at which vaccines are sold in other countries is classified. It is also reported that one of the conditions for the supply of vaccines to other countries is the secrecy of its cost.
However, please note that both vaccines are currently free.
Which vaccine is better?
Although Covishield and Covaxin have their pros and cons, there is no better.
Both are equally safe to use and are recommended only after careful consideration by the General Drug Control Officer of India (DCGI).
In light of the current situation, the most important thing is to be vaccinated against coronavirus, regardless of which vaccine was given. Moreover, the Indian government has not given its citizens a choice as to which vaccine to administer.