PharmEasy Blog

Mixing Covishield And Covaxin – Does It Work Better?

UPDATE: As of the beginning of 2022, an additional study was carried out by AIG Hospitals in Hyderabad that confirmed the information below. A mix of Covaxin and Covishield vaccines was shown to leave the body with more virus-fighting antibodies than simply getting two doses of the same vaccine. The test was conducted by using Covaxin first and Covishield second as well as the converse of the same. In both cases, this mixed vaccine regime showed a much higher antibody response (up to 4 times more) than two doses of the same vaccine. Also, one of the hopeful results from this study states that mixing these vaccines is safe for humans. Read on to learn more:

Introduction

Earlier, Covaxin was said to be better at protecting the new Delta variant of the SARS CoV2 virus. These claims were made by Bharat Biotech for their inactivated virus type vaccine but there wasn’t enough review available on these claims.

Although it may come across as a bit unorthodox, there have been ideas floating around for a while now regarding mixing vaccines for better potency. At the forefront of this idea were the first two vaccines being given out on a massive scale in India, Covaxin and Covishield. The latest results from ICMR shows that mixing these two does in fact produce better results.

How Does Covishield And Covaxin Work By Themselves

Fundamentally, Covishield and Covaxin work in different ways. Covaxin works by using an inactivated form of the whole SARS CoV2 virus, which has no potential to affect or infect the body. This kind of Whole-Virion Inactivated vaccine has been used for decades. In fact, this is one of the first forms of large scale vaccines since modern vaccines were developed.

Covishiled uses only a small part of the virus, a spike protein that can be found on the virus surface. This spike protein is used by the virus to enter into human cells, it is also one of the prime ways our immune system can identify the intruder. By replicating just the spike protein and injecting it into the blood, the body can recognise the virus and destroy it. All this, without any risk of contracting the disease since there is no actual virus present.

Both Covaxin and Covishield are excellent vaccines, considering the ridiculously short development times. And both also require two shots for the best results. But it has been thought for some time now that mixing the vaccines, i.e., one shot each of Covishield and Covaxin (or vice versa), may in fact show better results than just one vaccine on its own. 

What Were The Results Of The Test?

Conducted in Uttar Pradesh, the test was a result of happenstance when 18 individuals received a mix of dosages instead of getting one vaccine twice. Initially, there was a lot of worry in the public regarding the adverse effects of mixing vaccine types. 

As per the ICMR, these 18 individuals were tested against 80 individuals who received the conventional, two doses of 1 vaccine type (40 each of Covishield and Covaxin). Not only were all three of these groups found to be better protected and show greater immunogenicity in general but the group with mixed vaccines showed even better results than the other two groups. 

Effectiveness against the Alpha, Beta and Delta variants was strong and their antibody response was also superior to those who received only one vaccine type. 

But Is Mixing Covishield and Covaxin Safe?

The safety of mixing vaccines was also looked into by this test, to review its viability for use in the general public. The good news is that no adverse effects were noticed in the short or long term. Pain at the injection site (the upper arm in most cases) was detected, however, this issue is common in other vaccines as well. 

The findings from this study are extremely important in light of the Delta and other variants, since combining Covishield and Covaxin has a better response against them. But not only does a mixed vaccination elicit a better immune response, but it is also a new pathway for vaccinating more people. 

With over a billion people requiring vaccination in the country, the ability to mix and match with Covishield and Covaxin may open up better coverage for vaccinating the country. To move forward and make this a serious option, a broader study across multiple centres will be required. Till then, we can all breathe a sigh of relief at the good news and hope for the best. 

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.

1
1

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

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 –

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.

At PharmEasy, we wanted to extend our support to the Government of India in its COVID vaccination drive. And thus, with our ‘Go Corona Go Initiative‘, we are offering a token of appreciation to every user who has got vaccinated. Basically, we’re on the lookout for SUPERHEROES who will help make India COVID-free. For every vaccine taken by a citizen, we would be giving a flat ₹150 PharmEasy cash in the wallet to the users that can be used on their next medicine order. Click here to get it now!

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 

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.

15

A Recent Study Found Covaxin Effective Against Delta Plus Variant

The Delta variant of COVID-19 was detected back in April 2021 in India. It was particularly dominant in Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh. As a result, government regulations have tightened the restrictions and in many parts of these states, lockdowns have been observed in the last 2 months. 

There was widespread scepticism regarding the efficacy of the Covaxin and Covishield vaccines against this new variant. However, a recent study has revealed that Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is indeed quite effective against the new Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus.

The premise for this study

Covaxin, which is essentially a whole-virion inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, was found to be effective against the earlier Delta variant. Even during the second wave, which was mainly caused by the Delta variant, this vaccine proved to be 65.2% effective in protecting vaccinated people from the virus. Studies had been conducted in a double-blind, randomized and multicentre phase 3 clinical trial which had shown that the mass inoculation drives using Covaxin had been highly effective in controlling the spread of the earlier Delta variant.

How effective is Covaxin against the Delta variant? 

Since Covaxin had earlier proven effective against the Delta variant, it is highly possible that it has a similar potency against the Delta Plus variant. The recent study in question was conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research and has been recently published in the online research repository known as bioRxiv. The study stated that the natively developed Covaxin of India has been deemed effective against the Delta Plus variant. It concluded that Covaxin has shown 77.8% efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 which is a phenomenal breakthrough discovery since this gets one step further in flattening the curve.

What does this mean to the COVID-19 infection rate in India?

Since there has been great confusion regarding the extent to which Covaxin can be effective against this new variant, this study has shed light on certain facts and helped put many vaccinated people at ease. It was earlier speculated that the Delta Plus variant, which contains a mutation of the K417N spike protein can probably escape the immune response generated by the vaccines. Virologists and doctors were anxious that this new variant could surpass the effect of antibody response, thereby rendering Covaxin ineffective. However, with this new study, vaccinations using Covaxin can continue throughout the country as it shows a modest level of efficacy against the Delta Plus variant as well.

Covaxin vs Covishield – which one is more effective?

While the efficacy of Covaxin against the original variant of COVID-19 was reported to be 81%, that of the Covishield was reported to be 90%. As a result, many preferred the latter over the former homegrown vaccine. However, with the emergence of new variants like the Delta and the Delta Plus, it is seen that the effectiveness of both Covaxin and Covishield have been reduced.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that AstraZeneca’s Covishield, which has similar properties to that of Covaxin, is 67% effective against the new Delta and Delta Plus variants. In comparison, India’s very own Covaxin is about 65.2% effective, meaning there is not much difference between the efficacy of both.

The effect on those already Vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccinations have been faced with mixed reactions from people along with typical rumours of being a placebo. However, such is usually the case with any medical or scientific breakthrough in its initial stages. As someone who has already been vaccinated, you must remember that these vaccines have undergone extensive human trials by now and new studies are being published frequently about their increased efficacy. Therefore, if you have already been vaccinated, you can rest assured that your vaccination has not been in vain.

Another factor to consider is the protection that vaccines offer despite not having a 100% prevention rate. As late as Jan 2022, vaccines were shown that not only do all vaccinations provide protection against severe symptomatic disease, it also protects against hospitalisation for Covid-19. In turn, several studies have shown that hospitalisation and death rates from Covid-19 are much lower in those who are vaccinated vs those who aren’t. Additional data coming in also shows that a booster shot (a third shot of the vaccination) also adds to this type of protection.

Conclusion

Even though these new studies have proven that Covaxin or any other COVID-19 vaccine for that matter, provide a decent amount of protection against the virus, none of them has 100% efficacy. Therefore, it is important that despite being vaccinated, we still follow all necessary COVID-19 protocols in order to prevent any future waves of this virus.

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.

Covaxin – Is It Safe For You? Read To Know The Truth

 Covaxin – Is It Safe For You? Read To Know The Truth

The vaccination drive in India is progressing with great momentum. However, some people are still puzzled if they should take a shot of it or not. Well, the skepticism is totally understandable. Though the vaccines have been prepared in a haste but it has been studied well and thus has been approved by the government of India.

Covaxin is a COVID-19  vaccine, developed by Bharat Biotech in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Virology (NIV). Covaxin has shown an 81% (interim 3rd phase trial results) efficacy rate against COVID-19 disease. ICMR even found Covaxin to be effective against the Delta variant of coronavirus

However, the vaccine manufacturers have issued an advisory people must go through before they take the shot.

Who shouldn’t get Covaxin? 

The vaccine manufacturer has clearly stated that people who have a weaker immunity or are taking a medicine that impacts their immune system should not take the shot.

Bharat Biotech has released a fact sheet suggesting who else shouldn’t take Covaxin:

Moreover, people who have taken a shot of some other COVID-19 vaccine should also not take Covaxin.

Notably, before the vaccination drive was not launched, the government had said that people who are on immuno-suppressants or have a weaker immunity could take the vaccine but it might not turn out to be very effective. It is worth mentioning that people undergoing chemotherapy, HIV treatment or taking steroids are immune-suppressed.

Who is eligible to get Covaxin?

Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has authorized Bharat Biotech for the restricted use of Covaxin under clinical trial mode. It means that the people, who are on the priority list prepared by the government-appointed panel, will be covered under this program. 

It is the responsibility of the respective state governments to inform the individuals who are in line to get the vaccine. The people who are on the priority list have been given the option to receive or reject the vaccine administration at the government-specified booths.

What’s the good news?

So far, about eight lakh people have been vaccinated in India, and the authorities have seen only 580 cases of adverse effects on the patients. There also have been two deaths, in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka but those were completely unrelated to the vaccine.

According to the official figures, only 0.18% of cases have resulted in adverse events following immunization (AEFIs), of which only 0.002% resulted in hospitalization.

Myths Related to Covaxin

Possible side-effects Covaxin may cause

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

The other adverse effects may include:

The government has set up specific booths for vaccinations, where they have appointed health experts, who will observe the patients for 30 minutes after vaccination to observe any serious side effects if they occur.

Additional planning for patient safety

Bharat Biotech in its fact sheet has also confirmed that the recipients of the vaccine will be a part of a three-month follow-up program, in which designated government officials will track the development of any health issues in them.

In case,  anyone develops any serious health conditions, they will get medically recognized standard care at a government facility. The person will also get compensation for developing many serious health issues.

The document further states that the clinical efficacy of Covaxin is yet not established, as it is still in the Phase 3 clinical trial stage. Hence, people who receive it are still advised to follow all the COVID-19 related precautions diligently.

Takeaway

People who are next in line to get Covaxin or any other COVID-19 vaccine must disclose their medical history to the vaccinator before vaccination to avoid any chances of adverse effects. Moreover, looking at the AEFI rate, people with a healthy immune system may take a sigh of relief.

Immunity is what it takes for you to be healthy or not healthy.

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.

2

Why Has The Efficacy Of COVID-19 Vaccines Dropped?

The debate surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines seems to be never-ending. During the first outbreak last year there was much hype and concern on whether we will ever have a vaccine in time to put a stop to the spread given the unknown nature of the novel virus. Once that question was put to an end with an array of vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Modern, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Covaxin, Sputnik V, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen) being released into the market worldwide, there was another matter of concern and controversy; does taking the vaccine put your life at risk? This subsequently led to a significant degree of vaccine hesitancy amongst the older as well as the younger generation causing a delay in the vaccination drive.

Upon successful assurance and expedition of the drive, now there is another disheartening revelation – COVID vaccine efficacy seems to be dropping down.

This fact became evident when about two months ago (in July) Israel recorded a steep decline in the efficacy rate of their inoculated Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Ynet News reported that the COVID vaccine efficacy had dropped down to a startling 60% from June as it was failing to curtail the infection rates in the face of the Delta variant wave and the associated easing of COVID restrictions. 

Why is it Dropping? 

As per reports published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers monitored how the effectiveness of the vaccine dropped to 96% between May June and then to about 60% in July. Researchers as well as doctors after careful consideration of the situation came to three possible conclusions. 

  1. The immune response to mRNA based vaccines starts to dwindle over time. Longer the gap from the time when you have first vaccinated the faster the decline in neutralizing antibodies your immunity might have had. This means that with a compromised COVID immunity the efficacy of the vaccine is also lowered.
  1. Another point that determines the vaccine effectiveness is the surrounding infection rate. If the infection spread in your community is extremely high, your vaccine will not be able to protect you 100%. So masking up and maintaining social distancing still stands as the standard COVID-19 safety protocols no matter if you are vaccinated or not. 
  1. The third factor pointed out by doctors is that your vaccine efficacy will alter depending on the type of infection raging in your community at a given time. A contagious delta variant infects people aggressively therefore a variation in efficacy can be seen.

Do booster shots actually help? 

As per the current trend, fully inoculated people are getting infected with a percentage in some places as worrisome as 50%. The COVID-19 virus is constantly evolving and coming back stronger in each wave. So, in order to really take things up a notch and boost up our immunity doctors are saying that booster shots might be the need of the hour. But how do these shots work?

A vaccine is made up of inactive or weakened viruses or bacteria. When you get yourself the booster dose it prepares your immunity to combat the foreign invasion in the same way as it would for the original infection. This aids your body to create a memory of the virus. If you are exposed to the virus or bacteria again the antibody will be able to detect and finish it off before it can bring about severe damage. You can get booster shots a few weeks, months or even years after your vaccine shot depending upon the guidelines issued in your country.

However, the current government focus in India is to complete the vaccination of the Indian population as that was most necessary. Although many western countries are emphasizing the need for a booster shot drive right away, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is only concerned with getting as many adults vaccinated as possible. So, though a booster shot might be effective in giving your better protection against future COVID-19 infections it is not the agenda of the Health Ministry as of this moment.  

Also Read: Omicron Variant & Vaccine Efficacy

Conclusion 

Although the majority of COVID-19 hospitalization cases have been seen amongst unvaccinated people (especially during the Second Wave in India), there is no guarantee how strong the next viral strain might be and to what extent the vaccine can shield you from possible future infection. Additionally, with the drop in COVID vaccine efficacy over time, the need for booster shots might be essential eventually to not only keep your immunity strong against further COVID-19 infections. A complete vaccination does protect you from getting severely infected but it may not be able to provide you 100% safety from re-infection. Therefore it is important to get vaccinated and also follow COVID-appropriate behaviour for your own safety and the safety of others.

Also Read: Omicron Variant: Latest News & Updates

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.

How Can You Identify Fake COVID-19 Vaccines?

India’s vaccination drive for COVID-19 has been progressing steadily and as of September 2021, a sizable chunk of the population had received at least 1 dose. While this is good news, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done before we can be freed from the clutches of COVID-19.

In the midst of all this, it has come to light that there could be reasons for doubting the authenticity of the vaccines being administered in the country, namely Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V. Recent cases of fake COVID-19 Vaccines being sold in South-East Asia and Africa prompted the WHO to issue a warning regarding the circulation of counterfeit vaccines and the need to be able to identify them. 

Now the Indian government has responded by issuing guidelines to help identify fake COVID-19 vaccines being used in the country.

Spotting fake Covaxin – Guidelines  

As per WHO vaccination guidelines, checking the authenticity of the vaccine will help curb the spread of fake COVID-19 vaccines. The more vaccine awareness there is, the harder it is for fakes to get into the system. Covaxin can be easily identified by a few markers like:

Spotting fake Covishield – Guidelines

Along with Covaxin, Covishield was the first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for use in India. Knowing the signs of the authentic Covishield vaccine will help to curb fake COVID-19 vaccines. There are several key ways to identify an authentic Covishield vaccine:

Spotting fake Sputnik V – Guidelines

This Russian developed vaccine was approved after Covaxin and Covishield, it is being distributed in India through Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. Although Sputnik V is being produced by two Russian manufacturing sites, the labels will be identical in design and text except for the manufacturing centre’s name:

Should you be worried about fake COVID-19 Vaccines?

While fake pharmaceuticals are a bane in virtually every country, for now, the menace of fake vaccines for COVID-19 has been limited to just South-East Asia and Africa. Only a few stray incidents have been reported in India. 

In some cases, the doctors and medical staff in charge of performing the vaccination may also benefit from knowing these subtle differences to provide an additional layer of safety to the general public. By the time the vaccine reaches you, it has passed through several qualified and trusted experts so the chances that you will end up with a fake vaccine in your system are very rare.

While counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines are something we need to be alert for, it isn’t likely to affect you if the concerned people do their job. Keep these signs of authentic vaccines in mind when you go in for your shot, but don’t expect that you will spot a fake since that remains unlikely at this point in time. 

Conclusion

So what can you do to help the situation? It is important to get your vaccination (and all your pharmaceuticals) from authorized and trusted sources (government-recognized hospitals and vaccine centres). Do not fall for ‘cheaper’ vaccine promises and always check the latest news to keep your vaccine awareness up-to-date. If you notice shady, illegal or inauthentic distribution and sale by persons (or groups) claiming to provide a vaccine that is not approved by the government, report them to the authorities at the earliest. And if you happen to spot a consignment of Covaxin, Covishield or Sputnik vaccines that do not match the above descriptions, bring it to the attention of the police, the Health Ministry as well as any local hospital that is performing COVID-19 vaccinations. Be aware and stay safe!

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.

COVAXIN – Is India’s First Covid-19 Vaccine Ready?

 

The COVID-19 pandemic seems to be getting more dangerous every day. The country is reeling under a high caseload. Hence, all of us are being urged to be extremely cautious and maintain all precautions to prevent being infected or passing on the virus to our loved one.

At this juncture, a vaccine is the only thing that can save the day. For quite a few days now, we have been hearing reports on how India is making rapid strides in developing a vaccine. The name COVAXIN is doing the rounds. What is it and when can we expect it? Read on to find out.

What is COVAXIN?

COVAXIN is India’s first attempt at creating a vaccine that will successfully immunize the human body against the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.   It is actually an ‘inactivated’ vaccine made from killed COVID-19 viruses that will not harm the body when injected but will teach your immunity to recognise and kill COVID-19 virus if it enters your system by producing antibodies.

The vaccine is being developed by the ICMR’s (Indian council of medical research) National Institute of Virology wing as well as Bharat Biotech.

DSHOAFSJL

Has COVAXIN been approved?

Permission has been granted by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to carry out human trials of COVAXIN.

What phase of trial is COVAXIN in?

The animal trials have concluded and there will have to be 3 phases of human trial before the vaccine is ready for launch. The DCGI has issued a permit to conduct only Phase 1 and Phase 2 of human trials.

In a letter recently published by the Indian Council of Medical Research, Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Hyderabad was selected as a trial site among a total of 12 Institutes (including the Patna and Delhi AIIMS) where the ICMR would be conducting human trials.

The trial at the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences started on Tuesday, 8th July 2020 and is underway. At least 30 people will be screened and given the vaccine. Audio and visual consent of the persons will be sought before the trial begins.

According to the ICMR, the drug will be administered to 1100 people in different trial sites over the upcoming days and there will be two phases of human trials.

The director of NIMS has said that samples of blood will be drawn from healthy people and sent to New Delhi’s designated labs after which they will be examined by experts and the first-ever shot of COVAXIN will be administered.

The enrolment procedure started on 7th July.

Other Vaccines in the World

There is another vaccine being developed by Zydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech called   Zy-Cov-D. It received a nod from the DCGI to carry out human trials. Zydus Cadila said that it has also procured permission from Mexico to test one of its products to see how effective it can be in COVID-19 management.

The US government is conducting Phase 3 human trials for 3 vaccine companies under the banner of Operation Warp Speed.

nhjldsa

When will COVAXIN be available?

According to the ICMR, efforts are on to make the vaccine ready by 15th August 2020.

Remember to not let your guard down because the pandemic is still raging. Follow precautions strictly to stay safe and healthy.