Covishield & Covaxin: What Is The Difference Between These 2 Vaccines In India

India has 2 vaccines ready.

Covishield & Covaxin.

Both are made in India but what is the difference between the both? Read ahead,

Covishield  and Covaxin are the two vaccines against COVID-19 that have received approval from India’s Drug regulator for restricted emergency use in India. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted that every Indian is proud that both the shots are “made in India.”

Covishield:

Developed by Oxford along with Astrazenca and it’s the first vaccine to be approved in our country.

It is developed and manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India(SII) through a license from AstraZeneca and Oxford.

Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines which have to be stored at ultracold temperatures, Covishield can be kept safe for 6 months in normal refrigerator temperatures.

Covishield is a vector vaccine. 

 It carries the code to make the spike protein that is the spike on the surface of the virus. It is supposed that the immune system of the body will recognise this protein as a threat and work on building antibodies against it.

Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer, Serum Institute of India (SII), said that, 

“You’ll be hearing some good news from the UK very soon… It would be a 90-95% effective vaccine if you just keep a two-to-three months’ gap between dose 1 and dose 2. They will make that public with documentation.”

Covaxin:

It is developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the National Institute of Virology and uses a different platform.

Covaxin is an “inactivated” vaccine that uses the killed SARS-CoV-2 virus and has no potential to infect or replicate once injected and just serves to uplift an immune response. 

It means that an inactivated virus is injected into a body trying to trigger an immune response. It is one of the oldest methods of vaccination. 

This vaccine has been a massive subject for debate due to its controversial testing protocols, side effects among other ethical questions. 

Patients have to sign a consent form before taking the vaccine. This form states that the beneficiaries will be provided care in government authorised hospitals if they faced side-effects from the vaccine. They will also reportedly get compensated if they face adverse effects from the vaccine. 

Bharat Biotech chairman Dr Krishna Ella said, 

“The data is on its way. Phase III trials are going on. This sort of trial – 26,000 volunteers involved is a huge number. This has never happened. But there is not one word of appreciation for that. It is not easy to capture the efficacy now. It is easy to capture efficacy when there is a high disease burden.”

Both the vaccines received “restricted use approval in an emergency situation” just like an Emergency Use Authorisation that countries like the UK and US have been granting to companies including Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca for their vaccines. 

2,00,000 healthcare and frontline workers have already received the vaccinations recently. 

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