The third phase of India’s biggest vaccine drive against Covid-19 is open from today for all those 18 and above. The registration process for the vaccination on the government’s CoWIN platform or via Arogya Setu App and Umang App commenced on April 28 at 4 PM, and crores of people registered their details so far.
Covishield and Covaxin are the two vaccines that will be available in India as of now. Reports in news suggests that imported vaccines like Sputnik V will also be made available from today.
Who Made Vaccines And How Are They Made?
Covaxin, has been developed by Bharat Biotech International Limited in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV).
The vaccine uses inactivated virus (Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell derived platform technology) which cannot infect a person but still can alert the immune system to prepare a defense mechanism against the actual virus. The same technology was used for developing vaccines for wide range of diseases like Seasonal influenza, Rabies, Polio, Pertussis and Japanese encephalitis.
Covishield, the vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca is being manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII).
Here, a cold virus isolated from chimpanzee (chimpanzee adenovirus – ChAdOx1) has been modified and used as carrier of COVID-19 spike protein into the cells of humans. This modified cold virus is ineffective and incapable of infecting the receiver but can very well activate the immune system to develop a mechanism to fight against covid virus. The same technology has been previously used to prepare vaccines for Ebola.
How Effective Are These Vaccines?
Both the vaccines follow a two-dose regimen, administered 28 days apart. Covaxin demonstrated 81% interim clinical efficacy in Phase-3 trials. Covishield has an overall efficacy of 70 per cent, but when administered as half dose and a full dose month later it can be over 90 per cent.
A recent report released by ICMR as on April 21 2021 suggests, only 0.02% of population inoculated with 1st dose of Covishield were infected with Covid-19 and the number stands at 0.04% for Covaxin. In case of population who received both the doses the numbers stand at 0.03% for Covishield and 0.04% for Covaxin.
It is important to note that, it typically takes about two weeks for the human body to build immunity after being vaccinated.
What Are The Side Effects Of Vaccination?
World Health Organization in its recent report suggested, like most vaccines even the covid-19 vaccinations can cause mild side effects including mild fever, pain at injection site which shall fade away in few days on their own.
Side effects following vaccination differ according to the specific COVID-19 vaccine.
The most common side effects of Covishield include headache, body weakness, tiredness, body and joint pains, body chills and a fever, tenderness or pain at the injection site is given.
The most common side effects of Covaxin include pain in injection site, swelling of injection site, redness of injection site, itching at injection site, upper arm stiffness, weakness in the injection arm, body pain, headache, fever, malaise, weakness, rashes, nausea, vomiting. There are very low chances that vaccine causes a severe allergic reaction, the company claimed. Some of these signs of a include breathing difficulty, swelling in face and throat, increased heartbeat, dizziness, weakness and body rashes.
Who Should Not Take Covid Vaccination?
Both the manufacturers of the Covid-19 vaccines have listed set of people who should avoid vaccination. Here is a list of all those who should not take the vaccine.
Who Should Avoid Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin
- People with compromised immunity or on medication for such conditions
- People who previously had allergies.
- People who have fever.
- People with disorders in bleeding
- People who are on medication with a blood thinner
- Studies are not done yet on pregnant and breastfeeding women, so they better take doctors advise before vaccination.
- People who inoculated with other Covid-19 vaccine
Who Should Avoid Serum Institute’s Covishield
- People who had an history of allergy for ingredients of Covishield (L-Histidine, L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA), Water for injection).
- In case the first dose caused allergic reaction.
Dr Pavan Sunkireddy Ph.D in Nano Biotechnology, Manager- Catalogue and Content Management, Netmeds Marketplace Limited