Covaxin vs Covishield – A Detailed Comparison – Efficacy, Side effects

By Isha Kukde +2 more

The COVID-19 vaccination drive has already begun in India and many people are still unaware of how the two vaccines – Covaxin and Covishield – are different from each other.

The third phase began on April 1, in which people over the age of 18 can take life-saving shots.

Currently, the government hasn’t allowed people to decide which vaccine they want to get, but the result of the first phase clearly suggests that both the vaccines being inoculated in India are safe and effective. As of now, 41.2 crore doses have been administered. 8.55 crore people of 6.3% of the total population are fully vaccinated.

Covaxin vs Covishield – Which one is better?

Well, we have compiled all the information to give you a better understanding of the formulation and every other detail about the vaccine you are going to get to stay safe from the Coronavirus. Have a look:

Developer

Covaxin has been developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Ltd in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV). Covaxin is currently trying to procure WHO approval to ease international travel woes for people who have opted for this vaccine. All the relevant documents have urgently been submitted to the officials of WHO. 

Because the Delta variant is proving to be more infectious than the other COVID variants, the makers of Covaxin have started a new study to determine the effectiveness of the third dose of Covaxin (the booster dose). The results are expected to be made public in November 2021.

Covishield has been developed by the Oxford-AstraZeneca and is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). 

Doctors are mulling over the need for a booster dose for Covishield as well, considering the fact that the elderly and people with comorbidities may not be producing the desired immunity response to the Delta variant. 

Type of Vaccine

Covaxin is an inactivated viral vaccine. This vaccine is developed with Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell-derived technology. They contain inactivated viruses, which can not infect a person but still can teach the immune system to prepare a defence mechanism against the active virus.

These conventional vaccines have been in use for decades now. There are vaccines for some other diseases as well which are made using the same technology. These diseases are –

  • Seasonal influenza
  • Rabies
  • Polio
  • Pertussis, and
  • Japanese encephalitis

Covishield has been prepared using the viral vector platform which is a totally different technology.

A chimpanzee adenovirus – ChAdOx1 – has been modified to enable it to carry the COVID-19 spike protein into the cells of humans. Well, this cold virus is basically incapable of infecting the receiver but can very well teach the immune system to prepare a mechanism against such viruses.

The exact technology was used to prepare vaccines for viruses like Ebola.

Doses

There is no difference between the two vaccines in terms of dosage. Both of them are administered as 0.5ml in the upper arm region.

But, the dosing schedule for both vaccines however varies. The second dose of Covaxin is scheduled after 4-6 weeks after the first dose, while for Covishield vaccines it is 84 days or 12-16 weeks after the first dose.

Storage Guidelines

Both Covishield and Covaxin can be stored at 2-8 ° Centigrade, which is a household refrigerator temperature. This makes both the vaccines most suited for Indian conditions as most of the vaccines here are kept at the same temperature range.

This also makes the transportation and storage of both vaccines easier.

Efficacy

Both the vaccines have shown more than satisfactory results ever since the inoculation started in India.

The effectiveness of the Covishield vaccine is nearly 90% as per the global reports and Covaxin’s 81% according to interim 3rd phase trial results.

Side effects

After getting vaccinated, you may experience pain at the site of injection. Some people may also experience side effects such as headaches, joint pain and may feel feverish. These side effects do not persist for long and generally go within a day or two.

Approvals

Covaxin has currently been granted approval for emergency restricted use, while Covishield has been allowed for restricted use in emergency situations that can potentially prevent coronavirus infection in people aged 18 years and above.

Covaxin has begun its clinical trial in children aged above 2 years of age.

However, the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) has not given a market use authorization clearance to any of the vaccines till now.

Price of the vaccines

Both the vaccines are being inoculated free of cost at government health set-ups. However, the cost of vaccines at the private hospital varies. Thus, you should always contact the hospitals for the exact cost of the vaccine.

Also Read: Is Covishield Effective Against Omicron?

Mode of administration

Both Covaxin and Covishield are intramuscular vaccines.

Age of beneficiaries

Covishield and Covaxin have been approved for people aged 18 years and above.

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Summing up the differences between Covishield and Covaxin

CovishieldCovaxin
The interval between 1st and 2nd doses is 12-16 weeks.The interval between the 2 doses is 4-6 weeks.
Efficacy after the second dose can vary from 70-90%.This vaccine can be 78-95% effective after the second dose.
People above 18 years of age can opt for this vaccine.This vaccine can be injected into people above 18 years of age.

The newest vaccine to arrive in India

In June, Drug Controller General of India gave Cipla the permission to procure the Moderna vaccine from the US. It is the first US vaccine to arrive in India. 7.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine have been offered to India. 

This vaccine uses the mRNA technology and tests have found it to be 94.1% effective. 

The latest updates on the COVID vaccine 

  • 1491 million doses of the COVID vaccine have been given in India. More than 620 million people have received 2 doses of the vaccine and are considered fully vaccinated.
  • Top health officials in India have stated that both Covaxin and Covishield are effective against the mutated, UK/South Africa/Brazil virus.
  • Sputnik V vaccine has been given emergency use authorization in India. In India, the Russian vaccine will be produced by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. A recent study found no strong allergies caused by Sputnik V.
  • India will produce 850 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine every year.  
  • In terms of efficacy, Sputnik V outshines both Covishield and Covaxin with 91.6% effectiveness compared to Covishield’s nearly 90% (global reports) and Covaxin’s 81% (interim 3rd phase trial results).
  • Bharat Biotech will increase the production of Covaxin to 12 million doses a month.  
  • Sputnik will be the third vaccine to be used in India against coronavirus and will be delivered to India this month. The volume of Sputnik V vaccine production in India will be gradually increasing and may surpass 50 million doses per month.
  • All the vaccine producers must sell 50% of their stock to the states through the free market. The remaining 50% will go to the central government.
  • Now that all vaccines will be available in the open market, the vaccine manufacturers will also be able to decide the price of each dose of vaccine depending on demand and supply.  
  • The risk of contracting COVID after 2 doses of Covaxin or Covishiled is minuscule. A study has found 0.03% of people caught COVID after the 2nd dose of Covishield and 0.04% tested positive after the 2nd dose of Covaxin.
  • Lactating and pregnant women can also take the vaccine.

Also Read: Is Covaxin Effective Against Omicron?

Difference between Sputnik V and the other two vaccines

SputnikCovishield and Covaxin
Developed by Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology in association with Dr Reddy’s.Covishield is developed by the SII, Oxford University and AstraZeneca whereas Covaxin is developed by Bharat Biotech and ICMR.
It is 91.6 per cent effective.Covishield can be up to 90% effective and Covaxin has been found to be 78-81% effective.
The interval between the 2 doses is likely to be 21 days.The gap between the doses of Covishiled and Covaxin are respectively 12-16 weeks and 4-6 weeks

The newest vaccine to arrive in India

In June, Drug Controller General of India gave Cipla the permission to procure the Moderna vaccine from the US. It is the first US vaccine to arrive in India. 7.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine have been offered to India. 

This vaccine uses the mRNA technology and tests have found it to be 94.1% effective. 

Are you keeping a tab on your health? Let’s find out.

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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Sergio

Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m inspired!
Very helpful information specifically the remaining part 🙂 I handle such information much.
I used to be seeking this certain info for a long time.

Thank you and good luck.

Ashir Sahal

Appreciate your support, you are most welcome again for more such articles.

NK SAHA

Nicely described the differences between the two Vaccines CoVaccine and Covishield.

BABURAO DEVRAO WANKHEDE

I have take covaccine it’s safe.

Nice to here from you & thanks for the information…..???

Paresh patel

Which vaccine is advisable for those who have an allergic condition (drug – sulpha, nice, dust, etc)? What precautions should be taken before or after vaccination?

Dr. Nikita Toshi

Hi Paresh.
History of a food or drug allergy is not a contraindication for taking the COVID vaccine. You may take any of the vaccines permitted in your country after checking the vaccine’s list of excipients for the presence of any known allergen. You may consult with your doctor for better advice based on clinical judgment.
Make sure to wait at the vaccination center for at least 30 minutes after vaccination.
Be watchful for any symptoms that may appear for up to 72 hours after vaccination. Consult your doctor in case of any unusual symptom or sign of an allergic reaction. Stay healthy and safe.

Ankur Choudhary

Thanks for the informative article.

Nirpal Singh Sidhu

Thank you for a seemingly fair analysis of the available vaccines. I was looking for this information and it helped me with the purpose of my search.

Sumalatha

Satisfactory.. Waiting for the delivery of medicines

Ashir Sahal

Thank you, such feedback motivates us in maintaining and improving the standards of our services. I hope your order has been delivered successfully.

R RAJAGOPAL

Very Informative .Thank you very much.

Narendra Kadwadkar

Can people who have taken the Covaxin dose now take the Covishield dose? Please reply. Thank you.

Dr. Nikita Toshi

Hi Narendra,
Both Covishield and Covaxin have shown to provide good immunity after 2 doses. If someone has taken a full course ie both doses of Covaxin there is no need of taking another vaccine. Also, you should not mix the vaccines. If your first dose was of Covishield, the second dose should also be of Covishield. Similarly, if you have taken Covaxin as the first dose, make sure to take Covaxin as the second dose too. Stay healthy and safe.

Abuthahir

VERY USEFUL MESSAGE.THANK YOU FOR THE UPDATE.

Ashir Sahal

You are most welcome. Hope you found it useful.

Rajat

Dear PharmEasy,

Your articles are very nice full of medical facts and proofs.

But 1 thing is missing – share button. It would have been great if we can also share these articles on whatsapp or as a link.

Thanks!

Ammu

Very helpful

Shikha

Great…it was quite useful..

Amit Basu

Good service

Mohsin Dewan

Thanks

Ashir Sahal

You are most welcome. Hope you found it useful.

Aman

Nice info

Umashankar NG

It’s very good information about vaccines your given everyone can understand the perfect percentage of working capacity both vaccines!

S Verma

Very useful information about 2 indian vaccines.

Er Home Singh Majhi

I am a senior citizen and had been taken 2nd dose of covishield vaccine on 2nd April. I was tested COVID 19 positive on 21st May.. The effectiveness disease was very mild. During the period of home isolation I felt mild dry Cough and Cold. I never suffered from fever. Now I am completely OK .

Dipak Kumar Sarmah

Excellent and informative

Deepak Soni

Your article contains good information that I need to know. Thank you so much

Chetan Swarup Kalia

Very informative of both vaccines, covishield and Covaxin. Already got two shots same and my wife also got two.
Thanks.

Ashir Sahal

You are most welcome. Hope you found it useful.

P.S.DANDAPANY RAVI

Our central govt. Is doing the very best to innoculate the maximum benefisheries.Most of the people would have been covered by now.because of mis guidence by unwanted social elements, there is lott of confusion and demand all of a sudden.

Upinder Singh Sihra

My age is 68 years and I have taken the 2 doses of Coveshield vaccination.

Shakila Nasrudeen

Very useful…

Monoranjan Barai

I think that the covishield is more successful. It gives us an important lesson that the expensive one is always not better than the cheaper ones.

I pray that all the person who is infected by Covid-19 will recover and all will become normal as usual. ???

Santhosh

Article contains very good informative

Sonia

My mother is a diabetic patient. Can she go for the COVID vaccination?

Dr. Nikita Toshi

Hi Sonia,
Diabetic patients should take the vaccine. However ongoing medications and other associated conditions vary from person to person therefore, it is best to seek advise from her treating doctor regarding vaccination. Stay healthy and safe.

Anurag Verma

Very informative blog….thank you

LAWKUAMR

A very satisfied clarification provided by you sir…thank you so much.?

Pawan Kumar

Lot of thanks for awareness about covid vaccine

Sheetal patel

Very useful and depicted clear defences between two famous vaccine using in India

Nagaraj

Very informative

Shriti Ambastha

Good information

Manav Sodhi

Thank you, glad you liked it. Keep supporting.

NIRAJ KUMAR SAHA

Thank you for your Great Information.

Manav Sodhi

Thank you, glad you liked it. Keep supporting.

Poornima

Thanks for the detailed info and very helpful

Aman

This comparison made me decide n go ahead with vaccination !!

shambhu sisodia

nice information thanks

Manav Sodhi

Glad you liked it, keep supporting and stay tuned for more such articles.

Chandrashekhar R M

Very good informations to clarify doubts about vaccines

Jaydan

Really very useful information thank you

Dinesh Kumar

Very good information

Manav Sodhi

Glad you liked it, keep supporting and stay tuned for more such articles.

Sasikala Jayan

Well described. Thanks for the informative article.

Manav Sodhi

Thank you for your feedback, glad you liked it.

Manju

Now covaxin is not available we need to use covishield but good information.

Sabari

Awesome differentiation,

Manoj Kumar

Very important information provided by you. Thank you so much.

Poonam

Good information. Thanks

Suhil Ahmed

good explanation…thanks to pharmeasy

Manav Sodhi

You are most welcome. Hope you found it useful.

Ranjith

Good information. Really appreciate your help

Manav Sodhi

Thank you, glad you liked it.

Ravikumar.T

I am vaccinated for 1st dose of covishield it feels good, I wish should take all people as per government rules Thanks and regards Indian government