Going through this pandemic was taxing but, we never forgot that "after a storm comes a calm". The announcement of the Covid-19 vaccination was a relief to our anxiety.
Now we not only can get vaccinated, but a couple of more options are available, which left us with a dilemma about which vaccination to choose?
Currently, in India, two vaccines-- Covishield and Covaxin --available. Later, imported vaccines like Sputnik V, which are fully ready-to-use, will also be made available in the country.
After the recent government announcement, the vaccination will be made available to all citizens above 18 years of age from May 1, 2021. The immunizations of vaccines are also allowed to private players.
The prices for end users are yet to become clear, and as for now, in Central government-run hospitals, all vaccinations will remain free. Some states including Assam have also officially announced their decision to provide free vaccination.
Here's a brief look at Covishield and Covaxin vaccines.
Covishield, which is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) from chimpanzees.
It's been modified to look more like coronavirus - although it can't cause illness, according to a BBC report. The ingredients included in the Covishield vaccine are:
L-Histidine, L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, Polysorbate 80, Ethanol, Sucrose, Sodium chloride, Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA), Water for injection.
It starts working immediately when a patient gets a jab of the vaccine. This stirs the immune system to start producing antibodies and prepares it to attack any coronavirus infection.
Who should not get the Covishield vaccine?
You should not get the Covishield vaccine if you:
* Had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine
* Had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine.
Its side effects include pain or tenderness at the injection site, headache, tiredness, muscle or joint aches, fever, chills, nausea.
As per studies, Covishield is safe and used in clinical trials where several participants received one or two doses overseas and in Indian trials. It has overall efficacy of 70 per cent.
However, it can be over 90 per cent when administered as a half dose followed by a full dose a month later.
Currently, in India, Covishield and Covaxin are the two vaccinations available. Later, imported vaccines like Sputnik V, which are fully ready-to-use, will also become available in the open market.
The Serum Institute will give Covishield at Rs 400 per dose to states and Rs 600 per dose to private hospitals. The Centre's procurement price remains at Rs150 per dose.
Covaxin is developed by the Indian biotechnology company Bharat Biotech and clinical research body Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). It is an inactivated vaccine, which means that it is made up of killed coronaviruses, making it safe to be injected into the body.
Covaxin includes the following ingredients:
Covaxin contains 6μg of whole-virion inactivated SARS- CoV-2 antigen (Strain: NIV-2020-770), and the other inactive ingredients such as aluminum hydroxide gel (250 μg), TLR 7/8 agonist (imidazoquinolinone) 15 μg, 2-phenoxyethanol 2.5 mg, and phosphate buffer saline up to 0.5 ml.
Thus, the vaccine (Covaxin) has been developed using inactivated/killed virus and the aforementioned chemicals.
On delivery, the vaccine teaches the immune system to make antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, according to a New York Times report. "The antibodies attach to viral proteins, such as the so-called spike proteins that stud its surface," it added.
Who should not get Covaxin?
You should not get the Covaxin vaccine if you:
*Had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredients of the vaccine.
*Had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine.
*Currently have an acute infection or fever.
*Its side effects include pain or tenderness at the injection site, headache, tiredness, muscle or joint aches, fever, chills, dizziness-giddiness, nausea and vomiting.
*The Indian Council of Medical Research and Bharat Biotech announced that phase 3 results of Covaxin, developed by them, have shown an interim vaccine efficacy of 81 per cent in preventing and 100 per cent against 'severe Covid-19 disease'. Dubbed it as an important milestone in vaccine discovery.
As per Pandemic Expert and US Adviser Dr. Fauci, Covaxin "Found To Neutralise" Indian 617 Variant.
Covaxin will cost Rs 600 per dose for the states and Rs 1,200 per dose for private hospitals.
To sum it all, whichever vaccines you choose, don't forget to follow the guidelines issued by the Health Administration, as we are a few steps away from the victory.