Last Updated: 20th May, 2021
Covishield Vs Covaxin: Despite the fact that the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has revived memories of the strenuous times we experienced during the first wave in 2020, we nevertheless have the whip edge in the battle against COVID-19 thanks to the nationwide vaccination campaign.
Vaccination is unquestionably one of the most straightforward and credible approaches to combat the pandemic. Vaccination aids in the strengthening of the immune system by generating antibodies to combat infection. Furthermore, COVID vaccination is said to mitigate the severity of infection (due to the existence of antibodies) as well as the likelihood of hospitalization due to COVID-19 infection.
To counter COVID-19, the Indian government has enacted two vaccines: Covishield® and Covaxin®. But, if you’re either skeptical about these vaccines or can’t determine which is the better choice, here’s a rapid read that will simplify things up for you.
Importance Of Vaccines In India For COVID-19
As most of you might be aware, Covishield and Covaxin are the two vaccines approved by the Government of India for COVID-19. However, the 3rd vaccine by Russia, known as Sputnik V, has currently been approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). The Indian make of ‘Sputnik V‘ vaccine might take some time (maybe next quarter) to be rolled out after the supplies are ramped up.
Covishield is developed by the Oxford-AstraZeneca which is manufactured by Serum Institute of India, Pune whereas Covaxin is manufactured by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech Limited in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV).
COVID-19 Vaccine Type And Technology
Covishield is a type of harmless virus (known as adenovirus) that is modified with COVID-19 spike proteins to boost antibodies in humans. On the other hand, Covaxin is a deceased/inactivated virus that contains the entire virus particle (whole-virion) to boost antibody production to fight COVID.
Covishield Vs Covaxin: Who Should Get Vaccinated?
According to the current guidelines, anyone above 45 years of age should get vaccinated without fail. But, from 1st May 2021, every person above 18 years of age should be vaccinated. The Vaccine trial for persons/children under 18 years has also been initiated to cover the most from the devastation.
How Many Doses Do You Need To Take?
Like most other vaccines, both the COVID-19 vaccines should be given in the muscles (intramuscularly), preferably in the upper arm and in 2 doses.
You need to take 2 doses of the same vaccine (Covishield or Covaxin) for the vaccination schedule to be completed. This is because it is only after 2 – 3 weeks of the second dose that an adequate immune response is produced by the body.
The 2nd dose schedule for:
Covishield is (Revised )- 12 weeks to 16 weeks (84 days to 112 days) after the 1st dose.
Covaxin is 4 weeks to 6 weeks (28 days to 48 days) after the 1st dose.
Are There Any Side-Effects?
As seen with any other vaccination, minor side-effects can be seen post-vaccination for both vaccines.
Some mild symptoms that may occur include:
- Pain and tenderness at the site of injection site
- A headache
- Myalgia (muscle pain)
- Malaise (Generalized weakness)
- Pyrexia (fever)
- Arthralgia (joint pain)
In very rare cases, neurological complications (Demyelinating Disorders) have been reported following vaccination with this vaccine.
Some primary symptoms that may occur include:
- Pain and swelling at the site of the injection
- A headache
- Body aches
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- A cold and a cough
No other vaccine-related serious adverse effects have been reported.
Does Covishield Cause, Blood Clot?
There were several cases reported in Europe, which claimed that an extremely limited number of people who got vaccinated (of the entire population) had blood clots. However, there is no evidence which states that these people got blood clots due to the vaccination or they until now had a risk of suffering from blood clots even without vaccination.
Who Should NOT Take The Vaccine?
1. COVID-19 vaccination is contraindicated in:
- People with allergic reaction/anaphylaxis (immediate or delayed) to vaccines, food items, pharmaceutical products, injectables, etc.
- People with a history of allergic reaction to a previous dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Women who are pregnant (including the ones who are not sure of their pregnancy) and breastfeeding women.
2. COVID-19 vaccination is temporarily contraindicated (deferred for 4-8 weeks or post-recovery) in people:
- With active COVID-19 infection or those waiting for test results.
- Who have been given anti-COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma.
- Who are unwell and hospitalized for any illness.
Note: Covishield is to be given with caution in people with low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) and Covaxin when given to people taking drugs like chloroquine and/or corticosteroids is known to affect the antibody response, so talk to your doctor before getting vaccinated.
Covashield Vs Covaxin: Which Is Better?
There are no head-to-head comparison data available for these vaccines in India. Both vaccines work fine in preventing the infection and lowering the risk of getting a serious infection (if infected in the future). The key aim is to prevent death in elderly people and those with comorbid conditions like diabetes, respiratory disease, heart disease, etc.
Post Vaccination Tips To Follow
1. Follow COVID Appropriate Behavior (CAB) such as:
- Wearing a mask
- Using a hand sanitizer
- Washing hands with soap and water
- Maintaining social distance (substantial distance of at least 2 feet)
2. If you experience minor side-effects like pain or discomfort post-vaccination, receiving over-the-counter (OTC) medications like paracetamol and painkillers after consultation with a doctor is advised. You can indeed apply a cold cloth over the site of injection or exercise your arm to reduce pain and discomfort. Drink loads of fluids and dress lightly to reduce discomfort from fever.
3. If you are under self-isolation, waiting for the COVID-19 test results or are ill on the date of the vaccination or display symptoms of COVID-19, cancel your appointment. You can reschedule your appointment after 4-8 weeks of recovery from COVID symptoms.
4. Make sure to receive the second dose of the vaccine without fail. Also ensure, the second dose is the same as the first administered dose. For example, if your first vaccine dose is Covishield, then take Covishield in the second dose as well. Do not take Covaxin during the second dose and vice-versa. Consequently, if you are receiving your first dose, then don’t forget to seek your vaccinate about the type of vaccine.
Today Is The Best Day To Get Vaccinated!
Getting vaccinated is a promising start toward restoring civilization to its elemental state. Vaccinate yourself and any members of your eligible family. For a healthier YOU and a healthier society, continue following Covid suitable actions, even after receiving the shot!