Covaxin vs Covishield – The vaccination against Covid 19 has already started in India a few months back. In the first phase, only people of and above 45 years old were getting vaccinated. But from the month of May 2021, vaccination also started for the age group of 18 to 45 years old. It is hoped that the vaccination for kids and teenagers should also start soon.
While the vaccinations are going on with full fledge, one of the major confusion that people are having is about the vaccines. Currently, India is vaccinating the citizens with two options and these are Covishield and Covaxin. If you are also confused about which one to go for and what is the difference between the both, this article is absolutely for you.
Covaxin vs Covishield Overview
Bharat Biotech International Ltd along with the NIV and the ICMR has developed Covaxin. This is an Indian vaccine that is being developed to fight against the infection of Covid-19. The inactivated Vero Cell-derived technique is used for the development of Covaxin.
Oxford-AstraZeneca has developed the vaccine Covishield that is again a booster against Covid-19. In India, the Serum Institute of India is manufacturing the Covishield vaccine to contribute to the ongoing vaccination drive. Oxford has made use of the unique viral vector platform for the development of this vaccine. The same technique was used for the development of vaccines for Ebola.
To understand the efficacy rate of these vaccines, several trials are done before launching them for vaccination.
Covaxin has shown a good efficacy rate in the results of its third phase. It has an efficacy rate of about 81% according to the researchers and developers. As the vaccination drive is on, many more efficacy results are coming up. In the recent results, it has been found that after the second dose, people can have an efficacy rate of 78% to 95% depending upon the already existing diseases that a particular person may have.
Covishield is known to come up with even better results when it comes to its efficacy rate. The vaccine has been tested and trialed at different parts of the world and the efficacy rate has come up as about 90% that is much more than satisfactory. Similar to Covaxin, an even clearer efficacy result is coming up from the vaccination drive. According to this result, Covishield can be efficient from 70% to 90% in different people, depending upon the diseases that they may have, the lifestyle that they lead, and the precautions that they are maintaining against Covid.
Both Covaxin and Covishield can be stored at a temperature of +2 degree Celsius to +8 degree Celsius. This is the average temperature that is available in general household refrigerators. Thus, this storage guideline is quite convenient for the Indian environment that also promises to maintain the efficacy of the vaccines.
Currently, Covaxin is being used only for Indian citizens. The price of the vaccine will depend upon the place from where you are getting vaccinated. If you are getting your slots booked in a Government hospital, the vaccination is absolutely free, irrespective of whom you are. But if you are booking a slot in a private hospital, you have to bear the cost of the vaccine. The price of the vaccine will vary from one hospital to another. For example, one of the known hospitals of India Appolo is offering each dose of Covaxin at Rs. 1250/-. On the other hand, there are also some other private hospitals that are charging even Rs. 1500/- for the same booster.
Similar to Covaxin, even Covishield is available for free at Government hospitals. But if you are visiting a private hospital, you have to bear the cost. But as per the records, it has been noticed that private hospitals are charging comparatively lesser for Covishield than Covaxin. Let us take the same example of Apollo that we took for Covaxin. Apollo is charging Rs. 825/- per dose for Covishield.
Covaxin is an intramuscular vaccine that is injected into the upper arm region of any hand. An amount of 0.5ml is injected into the body per dose. Once the first dose is injected, the second dose has to be injected with a time period of 4 to 6 weeks.
Similar to Covaxin, Covishield is also an intramuscular vaccine. Again similar to Covaxin, a number of 0.5ml per dose are injected into the upper arm region of any hand in the case of Covishield. The only difference between both vaccines is the gap between the two dosages. It is mandatory to keep a gap of 12 to 16 weeks or 84 days between the first and the second dose of Covishield.
Side Effects and Precautions: Covaxin and Covishield
Whether you are getting Covaxin or Covishield, you may come across some side effects of the vaccine. Again, it is not necessary that everyone who is getting vaccinated will face the trouble. There can be also many people who may not face the side effects at all. Again, there are some people who may face side effects either after the first dose or the second dose. Similarly, there can be people who may have issues either after both the dosages or may not have any kind of trouble at all.
Side Effects: Covaxin and Covishield
Here are some of the common side effects that the vaccinated people may face.
- Pain and swelling at the injected area of the arm
- Fever and chills
- Headache and nausea
- Body and joint pain
Even if you are having these side effects, these should go away with 2 to 3 days.
When to Contact a Doctor?
Usually, the symptoms after taking the vaccine should go away after a few days. But if the symptoms persist even after 2 to 3 days, then you should get in touch with a doctor and should mention important details such as:
- The date when you have got your booster shot
- The symptoms that you are facing
- Any medication that you have taken within this time
Usually, the doctor may prescribe you paracetamol and related medicines with which the side effects can go away with a couple of days.
Precautions to Take: Covaxin and Covishield
To avoid any kind of major side effects or health issues, it is suggested that you should take the vaccination after getting yourself checked by a medical professional. This is needed especially in these cases:
- You cannot take one dose of Covaxin and the second dose of Covishield and vice versa. This means it is mandatory to have both dosages of the same vaccine.
- If you are recently ill such as if you have got a cough or cold and you have a slot booked for a vaccine. As per the guidelines, you should get vaccinated if you are infected with any kind of virus and should wait till the illness to go away.
- If you have some kind of illness such as diabetes, cholesterol, BP, asthma, and other issues. The guidelines say that you should not get vaccinated if your diabetes, BP, and other things are not in control. You should meet up with the doctor, get your levels in control, and then should get the vaccine shot.
- It is also necessary that you should consult a doctor if you are on some regular medication for some health concerns.
- Pregnant women or breastfeeding women should surely consult a doctor whether it is the right time for them to get the vaccine or not.
What to Do after Vaccination?
Here is the list of some important things that you should do after the vaccination.
- Once you have taken the first dose of any of the vaccines, you should make sure to get the second dose with the timeline mentioned.
- Even after you have taken both the dosage, you need to wear masks in public places and have to maintain social distancing.
- It is even after both the dosages that you have to wash your hands regularly, use sanitizers, and have to follow all the guidelines that are made to stay protected from Covid.
As of now both the vaccines that are Covaxin and Covishield are being used in the vaccination driver against Covid in India. Both the vaccines are proven to have an excellent efficiency towards protecting you against Covid. But the experts have also mentioned that even when you have got your boosters, you should maintain the precautions that are instructed to stay safe against Covid.
In India, you can get any dosage of any of the vaccines, that Covaxin or Covishield by getting registered to the Cowin site. All you need to do is to get registered on the site with your phone number and have to book your slot by selecting either Covaxin or Covishield, based on your preference. Currently, the vaccination driver is set only for the individual of 18 years old or above. The Government is still to announce when the vaccination for those below 18 years old age will start in India.