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Covaxin Vs Covishield

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Covaxin Vs Covishield

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The Indian Central Government first granted approval to Covishield and then to Covaxin. Read this article to know about these coronavirus vaccines in detail.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. J. N. Naidu

Published At April 13, 2021
Reviewed AtMarch 8, 2023

What Is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a strain of Coronavirus, where "CO" stands for CORONA, "VI" stands for VIRUS, and "D" for DISEASE. SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is a unique strain of Coronavirus that has not been identified in humans earlier. The COVID-19 was behind the respiratory illness disorder first discovered in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, in December 2019. Since then, cases have been identified in almost all countries worldwide, and WHO declared it a pandemic on 11th March 2020.

What Is COVID-19 Vaccine?

Vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus are known to produce antibodies that reduce the severity, symptoms, and spread of COVID-19. They are designed to provide acquired immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Since COVID vaccines were developed at a record speed, misinformation about them circulated fast and prevailed for a longer duration. Based on the clinical trials, studies, and data, researchers strongly recommend every individual get vaccinated.

Before the COVID‑19 pandemic, there was established knowledge about coronaviruses' structure and function due to research on the other strains of Coronavirus causing Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). This quickened the development of various vaccines against COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccines and WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) offer varying levels of protection against infection, mild disease, severe disease, hospitalization, and death. COVID-19 vaccines are generally very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death from all current virus variants. They are less effective at protecting against infection and mild disease than earlier virus variants, but the symptoms are more likely to be mild after vaccination.

What Is Covaxin?

Covaxin is India's first homemade vaccine against COVID-19, which has shown high antibody response levels in a mid-stage trial. The vaccine’s efficacy against COVID-19 of any severity was 78 %, 14 or more days after the second dose. The efficacy of vaccines against severe disease is 93 %. Adults aged less than 60 years had a 79 % efficacy rate, while those aged 60 and up had a 68 % efficacy rate.

Bharat Biotech has produced this vaccine in collaboration with the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) and the NIV (National Institute of Virology), Pune. Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine, meaning it contains killed SARS-CoV-2. This makes it safe to be injected to acquire immunity. The manufacturers used a sample of the Coronavirus, which was isolated by India's National Institute of Virology. When administered, the immune system starts producing antibodies against the dead or inactivated virus. In the event of a future infection with this virus, the body will already have the antibodies to fight off the Coronavirus. Covaxin is given in two doses, administered four weeks apart.

Covaxin is produced by chemically treating novel Coronavirus samples to prevent them from replicating. The double-dose vaccine presented a significantly more powerful neutralizing antibody response in Phase II than in Phase I due to the variation in the dosing regimens that changed to a 4-week apart injection program from a 2-week course. But it also noted that the Phase II trial, which had 380 participants, included a small number of people aged between 12 to 18 years and 55 to 65 years. Covaxin was given approval for emergency use in children aged 2 to 18 years. The clinical trials in children show that the vaccine’s efficacy and immune response generated were found to be similar to that of adults in the trials. More investigations are required to establish immunogenicity in children and older individuals. It also said that while the trial involved participants from over nine Indian states, the study group lacked ethnic and gender diversity.

Covaxin Efficacy:

The WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts onImmunization(SAGE) says that the vaccine’s efficacy against COVID-19 of any severity was 78 %, 14 or more days after the second dose. The efficacy of vaccines against severe disease is 93 %. Adults aged less than 60 years had a 79 % efficacy rate, while those aged 60 and up had a 68 % efficacy rate. In contrast, the Coronavirus vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer have promoted 94.1 % and 95 % efficacy respectively. Covaxin has been examined in monkeys and hamsters, and the results have revealed that it provides enough immunity against the virus.

Covaxin Dosage:

Covaxin is administered in two doses, and the second dose is injected at an interval of four to six weeks.

Side Effects of Covaxin:

Side effects are generally rare. Side effects in most vaccinated persons are mild malaise and fever. Rarely skin rashes, dizziness, swelling of the face and the throat, weakness, pain, increased heart rate, nausea and vomiting, difficulty in breathing, itching, and other allergic reactions can occur.


The confined version of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is called Covishield. Serum Institute of India, the world's biggest vaccine producer by volume, joined with the British-Swedish drugmaker to deliver 1 billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.

It uses the common cold virus from the chimpanzee. This weakened version encodes instructions for building proteins from the new Coronavirus to generate an immune response and prevent infection. Two doses of the vaccine, which were given in four weeks intervals, were initially believed to provide the best protection against COVID-19.

The scientists reported that the Oxford vaccine had an overall potency of 70 % but could be around 90 % effective when administered a half dose followed by a total dose a month later. According to the preliminary investigation, the vaccine seemed to be more than 80 % effective in preventing severe illness among older individuals. Therefore, Covishield is a highly effective vaccine over novel coronavirus.

Covishield Efficacy:

Covishield has withstood testing in four countries with a demographically different population, thus guaranteeing that it is safe to be used. According to the Serum Institute of India's data, Covishield has an overall effectiveness of 76 % against symptomatic COVID-19 after more than 14 days after the second dose and 81.3 % if the doses were separated by more than 12 weeks.. However, it is still weaker than the Coronavirus vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer.

Covishield Dosage:

This vaccine is also administered in two doses and the second dose at an interval of 12 to 16 weeks. The covisheild vaccine can be safely stored at temperatures between two and eight degrees celsius.

Side Effects of Covishield:

Side effects are generally rare. Side effects in most vaccinated persons are very mild malaise, and mild fever. Rarely the skin rashes and other allergic reactions occur. The side effects of the Covishield vaccine are tenderness, pain, joint pain or muscle ache, generally feeling unwell, warmth, fatigue, redness, chills, itching, headache, swelling, nausea or bruising where the injection is given, feeling dizzy, enlarged lymph nodes, decreased appetite, excessive sweating, itchy skin, a lump at the injection site, flu-like symptoms.


Both the COVID-19 vaccines have some similarities and differences.

  • Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine, and it has been around for decades. It is based on a tried and tested platform of dead viruses. The vaccine uses whole-virion inactivated Vero cell-derived platform technology. The inactivated vaccines do not reproduce or replicate, so they do not cause any pathological effects. Covaxin also seems to have a distinct safety assurance with the lack of anaphylaxis. Numerous vaccines for diseases, such as influenza, rabies, pertussis, Japanese encephalitis, and polio, apply the same technology to develop inactivated vaccines. Covaxin has been recommended in India, Zimbabwe, the Philippines, Iran, Mexico, and many more. Also, millions of doses have been used in India and Europe without any significant concern. Another good news is that WHO (World Health Organization) has expanded its validated portfolio of COVID vaccines by issuing an emergency use listing (EUL) for Covaxin on November 3, 2021.

  • Covishield is a viral vector platform. The coronavirus spike protein is carried into human cells by the vector chimpanzee adenovirus called ChAdOx1. Covishield is harmless and starts fighting against similar viruses when the body provides manual instruction. Two transverse myelitis cases in the UK had stalled the clinical trial for the Covishield vaccine for some time, but the trial resumed once the safety was confirmed. More than 46 countries have approved Covishield to vaccinate their people.

Vaccination produces antibodies and helps reduce the severity of the disease, thus reducing the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, the general public should come forward to get vaccinated, use masks, maintain social distancing, and save themselves from COVID-19 pandemic.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between Covishield and Covaxin?

Covishield was developed by the SII, Oxford University, and AstraZeneca, whereas Bharat Biotech and ICMR developed Covaxin. It is found to be 91.6 percent effective.


Is Covaxin an effective vaccine?

In Hyderabad, Covaxin is developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech's high containment facility. Once an individual is vaccinated with Covaxin, the virus cannot infect again, as the virus is inactivated. It has shown about 77.8% vaccine efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 disease.


Who is not advisable to take Covaxin?

It is advisable not to take Covaxin if a person suffers from allergies, fever, or bleeding disorders. He should not take the vaccine if he has poor immunity or is on a medication that affects the immune system. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid the vaccine.


Is Covaxin an inactivated or killed vaccine?

Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine. It is developed using Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell-derived platform technology. Inactivated vaccines do not replicate and therefore do not cause pathological effects.


What are the side effects of Covaxin?

The side effects of Covaxin include pain at the injection site, mild headache, tiredness, fever, body ache, pain in the abdomen, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, shivers, sweating, cold, cough, and swelling at the injection site.


What is the mechanism of action of Covaxin?

Covaxin should be injected in two doses (0.5 milliliters) and given intramuscularly. The vaccine can be administered at an interval of four weeks. It is suggested that all vaccinated individuals must receive two doses.


What quantity of Covaxin is injected?

Covaxin should be injected in two doses (0.5 milliliters) and given intramuscularly. The vaccine can be administered at an interval of four weeks. It is suggested that all vaccinated individuals must receive two doses.


What are the common side effects of Covishield?

The most common side effects of Covishield include muscle pain, tiredness, headache, chills, nausea, dizziness, abdominal pain, and fever.


Is it ok to take Paracetamol after COVID vaccine?

Yes, one can take analgesics like Paracetamol on an as-needed basis, post-vaccination, to relieve body aches and fever. Paracetamol should be taken only if fever develops after the COVID vaccination.


Is it necessary to have a COVID booster dose?

A COVID booster dose is given when a person has completed their vaccine series and protection against the COVID virus has reduced over time. Research suggests that a booster dose can reduce the risk of infection with COVID-19.
Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Dr. J. N. Naidu
Dr. J. N. Naidu

General Practitioner


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