Covishield versus Covaxin: What government says about comparing two Covid-19 vaccines
The Centre has recently accepted the finding that the protection offered by the first dose of Covishield stays long and so the timing of the second dose has been delayed.
As people waiting for their vaccination against Covid-19 may be undecided about which vaccine to take between Serum Institute's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, the Centre has clarified that they can not be compared with each other, scientifically. "There is no direct scientific comparison between the two available vaccines. So one can not choose one over the other. Both the vaccines work well in preventing the infection as well as in preventing severe illness. You can choose any of these, subject to the availability at your vaccine centre," the Centre said.
Both these vaccines are available at present in the country though they are not available in the same centre. People can choose centres according to their vaccine preference on the Co-win app as centres are displaying the name of the vaccine they have on the site.
The government has recently said that 26 potential cases of bleeding and clotting have been reported after the administration of the Covishield vaccine, which is minuscule. Since the beginning of the vaccination drive in January, 23,000 adverse events have been reported involving both Covishield and Covaxin and 700 were reported to be serious, while India's cumulative vaccination coverage exceeds 187 million.
As far as the price per dose is concerned, Covishield comes cheaper than Covaxin. The Centre is hopeful to add Russia-made Sputnik-V to the list soon.
The government has recently accepted the finding that the protection offered by the first dose of Covishield stays long and that's why the timing of the second dose has been delayed by 12 to 6 weeks. But Covaxin doses are supposed to be taken at the existing gap of 28 days.
The composition of both the vaccines is different. Covishield, which is the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine, is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus that infects chimpansees. It also contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein. On the other hand, Covaxin has been developed from live inactive virus.