As India is currently witnessing a surge in coronavirus cases, with more than 1.5 lakh people testing positive every day, a committee of medical experts has approved another vaccine for emergency use – the Sputnik V, designed by Russia. Apart from Covishield and Covaxin, the Sputnik V will be the third approved COVID-19 vaccine in India and once the country’s central regulatory body - Drugs Controller General Of India (DCGI) clears this vaccine, it will help accelerate the nationwide inoculation drive. This is the need of the hour now as India has already witnessed more than 1.35 crore positive cases and this dangerous viral infection has claimed nearly 1.8 lakh lives thus far.
Vaccinating the entire population of more than 1.3 billion people is indeed a daunting task and thus having three approved, as well as safe, effective vaccines at the disposal will be very beneficial in curbing the spread of COVID-19 among the general public. However, among the widespread uncertainty and fear surrounding COVID-19 symptoms, as well as possible side effects arising from taking a shot of the preventive vaccine, it is important to know the facts and steer clear of misleading data.Also Read: Vaccines: Learn How They Work And What Common Side Effects They Cause
Foray this article, that highlights the salient features of the three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in India.
Mechanism Of COVID-19 Vaccines Approved For Use In India:
Sputnik V is an adenovirus vaccine designed by scientists in Russia. It comprises two different adenoviruses, which trigger the common cold, coupled with the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 strain of novel coronavirus. When injected into the human body, it activates the immune system to synthesize antibodies against it, thus being prepared to combat the coronavirus when it invades the body on subsequent occasions.
Covishield is the invention of researchers at Oxford University and the pharma company AstraZeneca in the U.K. It contains the weakened strain of adenoviruses that closely resemble the genetic constitution of the SARS-CoV-2 strain of coronavirus. When given to people via their bloodstream, it does not result in any infection but induces the immune system to produce antibodies to tackle the coronavirus strain when encountering it post being vaccinated.
Covaxin, unlike Sputnik V and Covishield, is not an adenovirus vaccine but is composed of the inactivated coronavirus strain. It contains the real coronavirus but in the pathogenically diminished state and is hence safe to be injected into the human body. When given a shot of this vaccine, the immune system is stimulated and begins to synthesize antibodies complementary to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strain, Hence, if afflicted by the viral vector following vaccination, the person can effectively combat the disease and is safeguarded from COVID-19 infection.
Nevertheless, even post taking the vaccine, it is advised that the general population must still follow all new normal practices of social distancing, wearing face masks and using hand sanitisers while in public places. Only in this manner can the COVID-19 pandemic be contained in India.