Covaxin and Covishield are the two vaccines being administered to people as part of the Centre's nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive which began on January 16. The second phase of the mass COVID-19 vaccination drive began on March 1. In the second phase people above 60 years and above 45 years with comorbidities would be administered the vaccine.
As senior citizens across the country take part in the vaccination drive, here is all the information they need two know about the two vaccines - Covaxin and Covishield.
Both Covaxin and Covishield are 'Made in India' vaccines. Covaxin had been indigenously developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited in collaboration with the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The inactivated vaccine is based on a reputable platform of dead viruses.
Covishield has been developed by Oxford University in partnership with AstraZeneca. Serum Institute of India is in charge of producing the vaccine in India. Covishield is based on the viral vector platform. A chimpanzee adenovirus named ChAdOx1 is the vector which has been modified to carry the coronavirus spike protein into human cells.
Covaxin and Covishield are similar when it comes to the dosage regimen. Both vaccines follow a two-dose regimen. The two doses have to be administered 28-days apart. Both Covaxin and Covishield are also intramuscular vaccines.
Covaxin and Covishield don't require sub-zero storage. Both the vaccine can be stored at 2-8 degree Celsius which is the normal temperature of refrigerators in the country.
Both vaccines have been distributed to states and union territories. They are available at all government and private facilities that are participating in the vaccine drive. However, beneficiaries have not been permitted to decide which vaccine among the two they will be administered.
The two-dose regimen of Covishield had shown to have 62% efficacy during the Phase-3 clinical trials. Efficacy data is not available for Covaxin as results of Phase -3 clinical trials for the vaccine are yet to be published.
Cost of vaccine in private hospitals
Both vaccines will be administered free of cost in government facilities. In private facilities, the government has set the ceiling price for both vaccines at Rs 250.