Covaxin, Covishield & Sputnik V: All You Need to Know Before You Get Vaccinated

Vaccination is the need of the hour. The novel coronavirus has wreaked massive havoc for almost all of the countries of the world. It took us almost a year of rigorous research and continued testing to approve the first dose of vaccination. The battle is just beginning on when, how, where and what about the vaccine. Before we move on to discuss the two vaccines available to Indian citizens, we’d like to say that vaccination by itself is a privilege and an essential right, right now. It is the duty and responsibility of every eligible citizen to register themselves on the Cowin website. Find a slot and get their first shot of the vaccine ASAP. We must not delay getting the vaccine for ourselves, as we are also responsible for the various people we live and work with. This being said, it is also our right as a citizen to know what we are being administered. We will not tell you which vaccine is the best because there is nothing like it. The job of a vaccine is to create antibodies against the virus that helps your body protect itself from the virus. Both vaccines approved by the Indian government do this job to help your body gear up for the fight.


Bharath Biotech’s Covaxin has an efficacy of 81%. The cost of the vaccine is Rs.400 for the State government and Rs.1200 for private hospitals. It is recommended that the 2nd dose of Covaxin should be administered in the interval of 4-6 weeks from the date of the 1st dose.

Serum Institute- Oxford University- AstraZeneca’s Covishield has shown efficacy between 70% -90%. Covishield is sold at Rs.300 for the state government, while it is sold at Rs.600 for private facilities. The second dose of Covishield can be given 6-8 weeks after the first dose, which is slightly delayed compared to Covaxin.

Covaxin vs Covishield
There is no better vaccine between Covaxin and Covishield. Both these vaccines have been developed similarly. There is only one difference between the two – Covishield has passed through complete 3 stages of testing, Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech is still on the last scale of study. Indian vaccines have good efficacy rates right now, some clinical studies have stated. Two vaccines – Covaxin and Covishield are homegrown and may be termed relatively safer than other modern vaccines and carry a lower than usual risk of side effects.
Possible side-effects Covaxin may cause.

Corona vaccine

Bharat Biotech has also defined the possible side-effects (mostly mild), that you may experience post-vaccination. Have a look –

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Fever
  • Malaise
  • Weakness
  • Rashes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Possible side-effects Covishield may cause.

    Some mild symptoms that may occur include.
    – Pain and tenderness at the site of injection site
    – Headache
    – Fatigue
    – Myalgia (muscle pain)
    – Malaise (Generalized weakness)
    – Pyrexia (fever)
    – Chills
    – Arthralgia (joint pain)
    – Nausea
    In very rare cases, neurological complications (demyelinating disorders) have been reported following vaccination with this vaccine.

    Who Should NOT Take the Vaccine?
    1. COVID-19 vaccination is contraindicated in
    People with allergic reaction/anaphylaxis (immediate or delayed) to vaccines, food items, pharmaceutical products, injectables, etc
    People with a history of allergic reaction to a previous dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
    Women who are pregnant (including the ones who are not sure of their pregnancy) and breastfeeding women

    2. COVID-19 vaccination is temporarily contraindicated (deferred for 4-8 weeks or post-recovery) in people
    – With active COVID-19 infection or those waiting for test results
    – Who have been given anti-COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma
    – Who are unwell and hospitalized for any illness

    Covishield is to be given with caution in people with low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) and Covaxin when given to people taking drugs such as chloroquine and/or corticosteroids is known to affect the antibody response, so talk to your doctor before getting vaccinated.

    Post Vaccination Tips to Follow
    1. Follow COVID Appropriate Behavior (CAB) such as:
    – Wearing a mask
    – Using a hand sanitiser
    – Washing hands with soap and water
    – Maintaining social distance (physical distance of at least 2 feet)
    2. If you experience minor side-effects such as pain or discomfort post-vaccination, taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as paracetamol and painkillers after consultation with a doctor is advised. You can even apply a cold cloth over the site of injection or exercise your arm to reduce pain and discomfort. Drink loads of fluids and dress lightly to reduce discomfort from fever.
    3. If you are under self-isolation, waiting for the COVID-19 test results or are ill on the date of the vaccination or have symptoms of COVID-19, cancel your appointment. You can reschedule your appointment after 4-8 weeks of recovery from COVID symptoms.

    Getting vaccinated

    Sputnik V vaccine in India:
    India is set to receive Sputnik V vaccines from Russia over the next three months. The vaccines will be available in tranches of 6 million, 10 million and 20 million doses in May, June and July, the Government of India told the Supreme Court recently. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, which is importing Sputnik V into India, recently announced a tie-up with Apollo Hospitals for the administration of the vaccine. Some state governments are also reaching out to Sputnik because of the massive supply constraints of both Covaxin and Covishield.

    Sputnik V has an efficacy of 91.6% The vaccine is being administered at a price of Rs.1250 at Apollo hospitals. Sputnik V vaccine also involves 2 doses of different formulations given 3 weeks apart.

    Getting vaccinated is taking one step forward to restore society back to its original state. Make sure to vaccinate yourself and your family members who are eligible. Follow covid appropriate behaviour even after getting the shot for a healthier you and a healthy nation.

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