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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.

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Johnson & Johnson’s Single-Dose COVID-19 Vaccine – How Could It Be A Gamechanger?

Overview

In a piece of great news for all the Indians, Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine has been given emergency use approval (EUA) in India. The development was confirmed by the Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare recently.

There are plenty of reasons for it being great news for a country as populated as India because apart from the shortage of ‘made in India’ vaccines, there have been plenty of misconceptions pretty prevalent across the states.

Moreover, the cases of the Delta variant of Coronavirus have seen a rapid surge in the past few weeks.

Now, the addition of Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose vaccine has expanded India’s EUA vaccine tally to five, making the vaccine availability for people even easier. This holds great significance looking at the surge in the cases of mutated strains of the virus.

Other EUA vaccines in India

Johnson and Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine is the latest inclusion in the list of already approved vaccines. Here is the list:

As per the latest update, over 51.9 crore vaccine doses have been administered, while over 11.5 crore people have been fully vaccinated, which is about 8.5% of the country’s total population.

Well, the central and state governments and health authorities have done a great job in inculcating so many people, there are still plenty of people who have not received a single dose either due to shortage or vaccine-hesitancy.

How is J & J’s vaccine different from others?

Being the only single-shot vaccine across the world, Johnson and Johnson’s COVID vaccine is being looked at as a potential game-changer. The clinical trials have proven that J & J’s vaccine provides a strong immunity against coronavirus in most inoculated people. This vaccine has played a pivotal role in developing a single-dose trend across the world. Earlier, other US-manufactured vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna showed a weaker immune response after a single dose.

Difference between single-dose and double-dose vaccines

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine is a viral vector vaccine. In viral vector vaccines, the researchers use a different virus to produce antibodies that fight deadly pathogens. The researchers modify a different virus, that is called a vector, to generate an immune response against the deadly pathogen.

To develop the vaccine against COVID-19, J & J’s team took a common cold virus, known as adenovirus, which on being injected into someone’s body, gets attached to the cells responsible for reading the genetic instructions required to produce the COVID-19 spike protein. As soon as the spike protein gets detected in the body, the immune system starters producing antibodies to fight it.

Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines have been developed using Messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, which generate an immune response in the body by activating the cells responsible for fighting the deadly pathogens. These types of vaccines trigger the cells to produce a protein that leads to an immune response in the body. This process produces antibodies required to fight deadly COVID-19.

How effective is J & J’s COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 branch of J & J’s received EUA for their vaccine in the United States back in February 2021.

Before giving the green signal, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analysed the results of the clinical trials involving over 40,000 people and concluded that it could be effective in every case of COVID-19, be it mild or critical. It was found out that the vaccine was effective in 72% of cases in terms of preventing the COVID-19 virus and 86% effective in preventing serious illness due to the disease.

Similar to most of the available vaccines, J & J’s COVID-19 vaccine also doesn’t promise that the inoculated person would not get infected with the virus but it claims that the person would be less likely to develop a severe infection or require hospitalisation.

Duration of Protection

There is no evidence to support a specific time duration of protection against COVID-19 after taking the vaccine but the research surely has proved that it does shield you against the virus.

There have been reports claiming that the antibody level was stable and increasing even 71 days after taking the vaccine. 

There have been speculations that despite J & J’s COVID-19 vaccine not requiring a second dose as of now, it may be required in the days to come.

Takeaway

The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine of Johnson and Johnson is great news in every aspect for the Indians, as it would not only cut down the shortage of vaccines but will also help people in getting fully vaccinated in a single shot. Still, people have to be a little more cautious in terms of how they conduct themselves in a bid to prevent the third COVID-19 wave in India.

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.

A Complete Guide On MyLab’s CoviSelf Test Kit

Overview

As the second wave of COVID-19 shook the roots of Indian healthcare machinery, some researchers used this disastrous time as an opportunity to prepare a self-testing kit for common people, which they can use to know if they are infected with SARS-CoV-2 or not within the safety and comfort of home in a very short time. The quick results given by CoviSelf will help you seek proper treatment at the earliest, thereby reducing the risk of developing severe illness due to delay in diagnosis and the initiation of treatment.

The self-testing kits, which can potentially release a huge burden off the healthcare system, have now also received a green signal from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

More about the self-test kit

The self-test kit, approved by ICMR, has been developed by a Pune-based molecular company named MyLab Discovery Solutions. The name of the kit is CoviSelf.

It uses a rapid antigen test. In it, the patient just has to take the nasal swab sample, and it will give the result within 15 minutes. It only takes about 2 minutes to carry out the test.

This test kit costs only Rs 250. The manufacturing company currently has a production capacity of 70 lakh kits per week, and they are expecting to expand it to one crore kits per week in the next 14 days. The kit will not only be sold at the local medical stores but also at the e-pharmacies in India.

Aiming to fight against the upcoming waves of COVID-19 with more efficiency, MyLab has also prepared an AI-powered smartphone app to update users about their positive status. They can also submit their report directly to the ICMR for traceability purposes. The app will also tell them what to do next in case of either result.

Who should take this test?

ICMR recommends taking this test only if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have come in contact with a COVID positive patient. If found positive, the patient will not require an RT-PCR test for confirmation, and all the government-specified protocols will be followed for isolation and high-risk contact tracing.

If your result comes out positive, your report will be automatically submitted on the ICMR portal, as the test is in sync with MyLab’s mobile app CoviSelf. ICMR, however, recommends not to take this test in public places.

Moreover, if a person has tested negative but still has symptoms, he/she is recommended to take an RT-PCR test.

What is the self-test procedure?

The self-test kit includes the following: 

Test Preparation:

To begin, the user has to download the CoviSelf app on their smartphone and enter all their details. This data will be saved on a secured server that is directly connected with the ICMR portal, making your test reports available to the government.

 Step by Step procedure to take the test: 

Know your test results with CoviSelf

You will get the result within 15 minutes of taking the test. In case the result is positive, two lines will appear on the testing card. One line will be on marker “t” for the testing line, and “c” for the quality control line. If the result is negative, there will be only one line at marker “c”.

If the result takes more than 20 minutes to appear or if you can not see any line on marker “c”, then the test is considered invalid.

Benefits of self-test kits – Safe and early detection of COVID-19 infection

Many states in India are currently struggling to get through the second wave of COVID-19, and all of them are preparing to combat the possible third wave, which is expected to affect kids the most.

The exponential spread of COVID-19 not only puts a lot of pressure on the hospitals and treatment centres but also creates a huge burden on diagnostic labs.

The RT-PCR test is considered to be the sure-shot way of diagnosing COVID-19, and with a huge number of cases coming daily, the laboratories were finding it difficult to deliver test results even in 3-4 days. This was causing a delay in the hospitalisation of the patients.

With the introduction of these self-test kits, the COVID-19 management in India can see a huge improvement. It will release a lot of pressure from the limited manpower that has been responsible for collecting the samples, executing the tests and delivering the result.

Using these kits, people can check their status within just 15 minutes, enabling them to get the required treatment in time.

The United States was the first country to approve the use of such self-test kits back in November 2020. California-based Lucira Health had produced this all-in-one rapid result test kit and was approved for emergency use in the US. Europe and South Korea have also approved similar kits already.

Negative arguments against self-test kits

There are certain shortcomings of these self-test kits as well. The biggest of them all is reliability. There are chances of improper sample collection or contamination of swab sticks.

There are high chances of rapid antigen tests showing false-negative results. In that case, a COVID-positive asymptomatic person may turn out to be a super spreader of the virus without even being traced.

Takeaway

On one hand, where the self-test kits can help in easing the pressure on diagnostic labs and hospitals, on the other, over-dependence on this particular method can lead to an even worse situation. Hence, it should only be recommended and used by those who can carry out the guidelines perfectly and interpret the result accurately.

Disclaimer: The above information has been prepared by a qualified medical professional and may not represent the practices followed universally. The suggestions listed in this article constitute relatively common advice given to patients and since every patient is different, you are advised to consult your physician, if in doubt, before acting upon this information. Lupin Limited has only facilitated the distribution of this information to you in the interest of patient education and welfare.

Is The Cheapest COVID-19 Vaccine Soon To Hit The Indian Market?

Introduction

Corbevax is the latest in the line of COVID-19 vaccines that are soon to get approval under the Emergency Use Approval (EUA) policy in India. According to the most recent news, this vaccine from Biological E might turn out to be one of the cheapest options on the market, pending the vaccine passing stage 3 trials. 

What do we know so far?

As per hints from statements made by Mahima Datla (the Managing Director at Biological E), although the pricing is yet to be finalised it seems that the 2 doses of the Corbevax vaccine could be as little as Rs. 500 (Rs 250 per shot) or even as low as Rs 400.

As a comparison, the Covishield vaccine is at Rs 300 per dose for the government (Rs 600 for private hospitals) and the Covaxin shot is Rs 400 and Rs 1200 correspondingly. Topping out the list is the Russian Sputnik COVID-19 vaccine at Rs 995 which is being developed in India through Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. 

Is this vaccine effective and how does it work?

Although still going through stage 3 trials at the moment, Corbevax has shown hopeful results in stage 1 and 2 trials, prompting the government of India to put in an advance order for 300 million doses of this latest COVID-19 vaccine. The government of India has an aspirational goal of administering up to 2 billion vaccine doses to people by December and Corbevax could very well be part of that ambitious plan. 

Developed along with the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, Corbevax is classified as a recombinant protein subunit vaccine. Baylor’s National School of Tropical Medicine has been dealing with coronavirus vaccine research of SARS and MERS for over a decade, hence they have the techniques to produce a high-efficiency vaccine. This vaccine works by producing harmless copies of the COVID-19 Coronavirus spike protein by using yeast. The yeast is then removed and the spike protein is purified and put together with an adjuvant so that it can be administered to train the body’s immune system for the real virus. 

The spike protein is recognised by the immune system as an intruder and the body reacts and learns to recognise it. The protein itself is thought to have no harmful effect as there is no virus attached to it. In this way, when the real virus infects the person at a later stage, the body is ready to fight against it. 

Since many of these processes are similar to those used in preparing the Hepatitis B vaccine with traditional technology, the production costs for Corbevax are quite low. These production similarities are also why Biological E seems confident that they can achieve around 80 million doses a month by August. The company has already started manufacturing early batches of Corbevax at their own risk in anticipation of EUA. 

Current Scenario

India’s vaccine drive is currently hampered by a sheer lack of available vaccines for its massive population. Biological E’s Corbevax is exceptionally good news, as pending a successful stage 3 trial, it means India will have another source of COVID-19 vaccines to fight back against the pandemic. In the meantime, continue following the COVID protocol and try booking a vaccine slot for your loved ones and yourself. 

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.

Worried About The Delay For 2nd Dose of The COVID Vaccine? Know All About It

Are you also one of those people who are worried over the shortage of COVID-19 vaccines forcing you to wait for the second dose? Are you also wondering if you may need to restart your vaccine schedule because it has already been months since your first dose?

Well, you do not need to panic yet as the studies and experts suggest that the booster (second) dose works just fine even if you take it after a gap of 4-5 months from the date of your first jab.

How do the vaccine doses work?

When you take the first dose of any COVID-19 vaccine, it triggers an immune response, which stays active even if you delay your booster dose. It, however, doesn’t work at the optimum level and that’s why you need the second dose.

The booster dose basically enhances and increases the immune response of the first dose-response. 


Once the first dose of vaccine is taken, our body starts reacting and produces antibodies specific to the vaccine. The amount of time required by the body to produce an immune response may take time, but it triggers the memory cells of the immune system. When the second dose is given the immune response against the vaccine will be much faster and more effective than the first dose. Thus, a delay in the second dose will not harm and does not wear off.

Why has the government increased the duration between the two doses?

Amid the rising demand and insufficient supply of vaccines, the government has increased the duration between two Covishield doses from 4 to 12 weeks. The decision has been taken after analyzing the data from the international trials, in which the researchers observed the immune response of the vaccinated people from the first dose till the booster jab.

The experts also observed that in some cases where the second dose was administered as late as 12 weeks, the antibodies and immune response from the vaccine were equivalent and comparable.

What do other experts say?

Some experts believe that from an immunology perspective, researchers always specify a ‘minimum’ interval, not ‘maximum’ between the doses. They believe that any vaccine works better if the gap between the first and the booster dose is slightly longer in most cases.

In the case of Covaxin, the minimum gap of 4-6 weeks remains unchanged. In case the vaccine is not available, it can be delayed but has been mentioned for 28 days but everyone must get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine even if it is delayed.

Some experts also recommend that people should not think about taking the first dose again if the booster jab has been delayed. Even in children’s vaccination, the norm is to pick up from where the one left off.

Moreover, even children are not recommended a repeat dose of the same vaccine even if they have a weaker immune response. Hence, it should not be done for the COVID vaccination too.

Another expert has claimed that the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, even if delayed, is effective in preventing the infection.

What if you contract Covid between shots?

There have been cases where people contracted covid within a few days or weeks of getting their first dose of COVID vaccination. In case a person contracts the infection very close to getting their second COVID-19 dose, here’s what you should do. Remember that the infection helps the body build certain protective antibodies naturally, but we don’t know for sure how long these antibodies last and hence it is advisable to get the second dose of the vaccine after recovering. 

You must postpone your vaccination by at least 6 weeks after a mild covid infection. Those with a severe form of illness should consider getting a go-ahead from the doctor first. Make sure you recover well but do not miss the vaccine dose as it will add to your immunity and serve additional purposes.

What else do we know?

In the United Kingdom, the recommended gap between the two shots of Covishield is 12 weeks, while Canada has kept it to 16 weeks. A study by Public Health England has proved that the first jab of Covishield is 65 percent effective against symptomatic COVID-19 and 80% against a severe form of the disease.

Some experts even recommend that even if a person gets infected after getting the first dose of the vaccine and takes 6-10 weeks to recover, he/she must take the second jab after 3 months of being completely recovered from the illness.

How can we ensure getting the vaccine in time?

First of all, you should not worry at all about the revision of the vaccination schedule. The decision has been taken after a thorough analysis of every aspect of the efficacy of the doses. Still, if you are unable to get the vaccine at a government-designated centre, you can always look for a private vaccination centre in your locality and get the vaccine.

Takeaway

The shortage of vaccines may have sparked a wave of fear among the people who have got their first shot of the vaccine, but there isn’t anything to worry about as of now. There would be no need to restart the vaccine schedule even if you have completed 12 weeks from your first dose. Everyone should just focus on getting their second dose as per the government-specified schedule.

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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Oxygen Concentrators – How Are They Helping The COVID-19 Patients?

As India is grappling with the Coronavirus pandemic, people are running from pillar to post to arrange hospitals, ICU beds, life-saving medications, ventilators and most importantly ‘oxygen’, to save their loved ones. 

Arranging these basic necessities is so tough today because the availability of all these things is way less than what the country requires to win this battle.

In these testing times, Oxygen Concentrators have turned out to be a ‘saviour’ for the people who are mildly affected with COVID-19 and are trying to recover in home isolation, owing to the shortage of hospital beds.

What is an oxygen concentrator?

An oxygen concentrator is a medical device that is generally bigger than a computer monitor. It works by concentrating oxygen from the ambient air and aiding the patient in breathing easily. 

How does it work?

In today’s polluted world, atmospheric air contains about 78 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen. The last one percent consists of various other gases.

An oxygen concentrator sucks this atmospheric air, filters it through a sieve/filter and releases the nitrogen back into the atmosphere. The filtered oxygen is given to the patient through a cannula.

The studies have shown that these concentrators produce 90-95 percent pure oxygen. The World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2015 stated, ”Concentrators can operate and produce oxygen 24 hours a day continuously and may last up to five years.”

When does a patient need concentrators?

As the majority of the states in India are facing scarcity of oxygen right now, people should start taking the help of concentrators when their oxygen saturation level drops below 94 percent. Notably, oxygen saturation level between 94-100 percent is considered safe and healthy.

These concentrators are effective on patients whose saturation level doesn’t drop below 90 percent, but they can be of help even for those with oxygen saturation dropping as low as 85 percent. Patients, whose oxygen level drops below this point, will require a better flow of oxygen than these concentrators can offer.

How good are these concentrators?

The experts claim that oxygen concentrators are not as good as Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO), which are 99 percent pure and are a good option for mild to moderate COVID-19 patients, whose oxygen saturation level is at 90 percent or above.

The experts say that these are not appropriate for ICU patients.

What are the types of oxygen concentrators?

Basically, there are two types of concentrators – Continuous flow and Pulse dose.

Continuous flow concentrators keep supplying the same flow of oxygen every minute if they are not turned off. The pulse dose concentrators are a little smarter and read the breathing pattern of the patient and release O2 on detecting inhalation. In the second type, the per-minute oxygen dispensation will vary.

How are these different from oxygen cylinders and LMO?

These are the best alternatives of the cylinders and LMO, which are very tough to be transported and stored. Moreover, cylinders require to be refilled but concentrators can keep producing oxygen for up to five years or more, using just the ambient air and a power source.

The only drawback with the concentrators is that they can only supply 5-10 litres of oxygen per minute, while the critical patients may require 40-45 litres per minute.

How much do they cost?

The cost of these concentrators varies depending upon how much oxygen they produce per minute. Their cost may vary between Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 90,000 in different markets.

What to check while renting or buying oxygen concentrators?

As per the experts, if a patient is given one-litre oxygen through a concentrator, the oxygen percentage in the lungs shoots up to 24 percent, while with two litres, it reaches 28 percent and with 10 litres, it rises up to 60 percent. The oxygen per minute has to be regulated as per the requirement.

The patient must consult a physician to know how many litres per minute of oxygen is needed and a pulse oximeter is also necessary to monitor the oxygen saturation.

The quality of oxygen produced depends upon the number of sieves/filters used in the concentrator and their quality is not measured by their weight but by litre per minute output. The ideal weight of these concentrators is less than 27 kgs.

If the concentrator gets heated while working, the quality of oxygen produced may deplete. Hence, it should be used only when required.

Takeaway

The coronavirus pandemic has given a huge boost to the oxygen concentrator sales in India, as their demand has shot up shockingly. Earlier, where the demand was 40,000 concentrators annually, now it has gone up to 30,000-40,000 a month.

Well, oxygen concentrators have been an essential part of every home in China where there are people over 65 years of age. With COVID-19 infecting an increasing number of people on a daily basis, these concentrators can really help the Indian healthcare system.  

Grab a concentrator and book a test for advanced health checkup.

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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PharmEasy Launches COVID-19 Vaccination Registration Drive

The second wave of COVID-19 has gripped the country and we all need to come together in order to put the pandemic behind us. The best contribution we all can make together in these trying times is to get everyone vaccinated as soon as possible. The Government of India has invited the participation of private companies to accelerate vaccination across the country. From 1st May 2021, all legal adults (above the age of 18) have become eligible to get vaccinated.

PharmEasy’s motto has been ”Simplifying Healthcare & Impacting Lives”. In order to support the country in fighting the pandemic, we are launching the biggest COVID-19 vaccination drive. With this drive, we plan to do our humble bit in furthering the clarion call of ”Teeka Utsav” given by our Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, to immunize the country, at an accelerated pace.

We aim to vaccinate over 3 crore families via 5,000 partner centres, PAN India in the next few quarters. We will leverage our presence across India, with over 80,000 partner retailers, 5,000 doctors and a state-of-the-art pharma supply chain facility enabling last-mile delivery of cold chain products. 

We have been overwhelmed with the response so far. Over 50 lakh individuals and 750 organisations have already made a soft commitment to vaccinate themselves and their respective families in the last 24 hours alone, with many more joining us each minute.

PharmEasy invites all Individuals, Housing Societies, Corporates, Registered Welfare Associations and NGOs to register for the vaccine using the following link: Registration Link.

Once you register, our team will update you about the same as soon as the vaccine doses are available in your vicinity, along with other relevant details about the date and location of the vaccination centre.

Some crucial information pertaining to the drive:

Vaccination is the only way of putting the pandemic behind us. Let us all come together, get vaccinated and be a part of COVID-free India soon.

Post-registration, we will reach out to you regularly through SMS, email or voice calls. Sadly we will not be able to take any inbound calls regarding the vaccination drive and you will have to wait for us to get back to you, given the sheer scale of the effort we are undertaking. Disclaimer: Please note that registering with us does not guarantee you a slot immediately. While we will try to get as many vaccinations done as possible, we might not be able to serve everyone, given the extensive registrations we are witnessing. You’ll be contacted once a vaccination centre opens up in your area and we are able to get you a slot. We are not charging any fee for online registration, nor will anyone from our team reach out to you for any kind of payments/advances. In the meanwhile, we do not want to stop anyone from registering with any other vaccination centres and getting yourselves and your loved ones vaccinated. The vaccines will only be provided in line with the GOI guidelines which will be released soon.

You need to know that it is equally important to take care of your health. Therefore, stay ahead and book a test.

Sputnik V Gets Emergency Use Approval In India

The new COVID-19 strain has derailed the Indian healthcare infrastructure in no time, and our country, which was donating vaccines to the neighbouring nations a few weeks ago, is facing a shortage of the life-saving shots and almost every other facility required to fight this pandemic.

In a huge relief to the people, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in India. This is the third vaccine India has approved to use against the deadly virus. The earlier two are – Covishield and Covaxin. The former has been developed by the Oxford University-AstraZeneca and Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) is manufacturing it, while the latter has been developed and manufactured by Bharat Biotech and the National Institute of Virology (NIV).

Who will distribute Sputnik V in India?

Indian pharmaceutical company Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has joined hands with the Russian sovereign fund Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for carrying out the bridge clinical trials of the vaccine in India, which is the 60th country to approve its use.

When will the distribution of Sputnik V start in India?

The RDIF has confirmed that vaccine distribution will begin by the end of April or in the first week of May.

Who has developed and is manufacturing Sputnik V?

The Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, backed by the Russian state, has developed the vaccine. The registration of the vaccine in Russia was done in August 2020 as Gam-COVID-Vac, and the “V” in the name of the vaccine stands for alphabet V. The developer has informed that the vaccine can be stored at 2-8 degree celsius.

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has got the contract of distributing up to 250 million doses in India, by importing them. RDIF has also signed a manufacturing contract with Stelis Biopharma, Gland Pharma, Virchow Biotech, Panacea Biotec and Hetero Biopharma to manufacture more than 850 million Sputnik V doses in India. The doses produced in India will be exported across the world.

The production of the vaccine is soon to start at Hetero Biopharma and Panacea Biotec, while the other pharma companies will begin production in September 2021.

How is Sputnik V different from other vaccines?

Sputnik V is an adenovirus viral vector vaccine, which carries viruses especially made containing the coronavirus genes. Some of these types of vaccines make their way into the cells and cause them to produce viral proteins. The others just gradually replicate, travelling through the body with virus proteins on their surface.

How many doses are required?

People have to get two doses of Sputnik V, similar to Covishield and Covaxin. Both the doses have to be administered at least 21 days apart. These are inoculated through injection into the muscle.

What’s the efficacy of Sputnik V?

The Russian vaccine has shown excellent results with an efficacy rate of 91.5 percent. This rate is the highest after Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccines. Before giving it the green signal, a bridging trial was conducted in India.

Another positive news is that only 0.1 percent of the vaccine receivers have complained about the side effects.

What’s the price of the vaccine?

In the international market, the Russian vaccine costs around Rs. 750 per dose, but its price in India is still to be decided, as the government is trying to negotiate the pricing with the manufacturer.

Why is it important for India at this time?

The vaccine approval for emergency use in India is very crucial as the second wave of the pandemic has already put India on the back foot in the war against the virus. Many states in the country have been reporting a shortage of vaccines, even when India is all set to expand the vaccination drive.

Which countries are currently using it?

Russia became the first country to start inoculating its citizens with Sputnik V. It is currently being administered in many countries including Pakistan, Egypt, Argentina, Vietnam, Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan, Panama, Mauritius, Hungary, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

Takeaway

With the quickly rising number of cases of COVID-19 in India, approval to Sputnik V for emergency use can come as a boon for the countrymen. We should hope that the first lot of vaccines land in India soon so that the vaccination drive can come back on the right track.

Know your current health status.

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.

Why Is There A Rise In COVID-19 Cases Amidst The Vaccination Drive?

Right when India was starting to smell victory against the deadly COVID-19 disease, the virus has struck back with a new strain, which in a way has derailed the ambitious vaccination drive of the Indian government.

The virus has restarted spreading its wings across India The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already confirmed that the new strain of the coronavirus is even more contagious than the previous one and at the same time, people in India have started to take it less seriously.

What does the government have to say?

To investigate and figure out ways to stop the second wave of COVID-19, the central government formed a panel, which in its report, said, ”The main reason behind the second wave is the superspreader events like weddings, elections and social gatherings and people being unwilling to keep following the social distancing norms.

Niti Ayog member (Health) Dr VK Paul has suggested not to show any laxity in our fight against COVID-19, as breaking the chain of transmission should be our utmost priority at the moment. He also emphasized that vaccines are a major tool in our mission but we can not afford to give up on the containment and surveillance methods that we have been following for so long.

What’s the actual COVID-19 situation in India?

In the last 24 hours ending at 8 AM Monday, India recorded the highest ever 1,03,558 new COVID-19 cases. These cases have taken India’s total to 1,25,89,067, out of which 9.07 lakh are currently active, while 1.17 crore has recovered successfully. In the last 24 hours, a total of 478 deaths have been reported, taking the toll up to 1.65 lakh.

Maharashtra is the worst affected state right now with over 3.36 lakh active cases. The state recorded 31,643 cases on Monday itself. To curb the resurgence of the virus, the state is likely to release new work norms by April 1. The decision on a full lockdown will be taken in a meeting headed by the Chief Minister of the state.

In a strange occurrence, eight states of the country accounted for 84.5 per cent of the total 68,020 fresh cases recorded on Monday. Delhi also recorded more than 1,900 cases on Monday, breaking its past three-month record.

Why should we be worried?

India’s indigenous vaccines – Covaxin and Covishield – have been performing well, but looking at the huge population of our country, it is impossible to immunize everyone in a short period. Till now, India has managed to vaccinate only six crore people, which is just 4.43 per cent of the 135.5 crore population of the country.

More shockingly, only 0.5 per cent of people in India had received both doses of vaccines by March 18, 2021. If Indian authorities maintain the same pace of vaccination, they would be able to vaccinate 70% of the population in the next 10.8 years.

Hence, it becomes essential for the people of the country to maintain the social distancing norms specified by the authorities, so that the government doesn’t have to use their time, manpower and focus on stopping the spread of the virus, instead of speeding up the inoculation drive.

How can we help the government?

Any government cannot succeed against the deadly virus if the people of the country do not contribute their bit to the mission. Hence, getting vaccinated timely should be our top priority and until we are not inoculated, we must follow the social distancing norms.

Takeaway

To stop the resurgence of COVID-19 in India, people must ensure that they are following all the protocols set by their local authorities, and also step forward to get themselves immunized against the disease. We must stop the spread of misinformation and myths related to the disease and vaccines. Moreover, people should also ignore attending social gatherings to stay safe.

Know your current health status!

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.

Can You Still Contract COVID After Getting Vaccinated?

The fight against coronavirus has been going on for more than a year now. We have been living a life of restrictions since March 2020. It was a very difficult year for every one of us. We were constantly hoping that the ‘curve would be flattened’ any day. But every day we only read reports of increasing case-count and death toll.

Just when it seemed that we had lost all hope, in January 2021, the Union Health Minister announced that the COVID graph has finally been flattened with 146 districts not having reported any fresh cases in a week.

This news came in conjunction with the onset of COVID vaccination in India. And we all greeted this update with a happy sigh.

But maybe our happiness is short-lived. There is an indication that COVID might rear its head again. Here’s what has been happening recently-

India’s COVID caseload is rising

The dwindling rate of new COVID infections did not continue for long. On 2nd February, India recorded its lowest ever number of new infections in a day (8635).

But soon after, the caseload began to rise again. And by February 18th, the number of fresh cases rose to 12881 and may continue to increase over the next few days.

The situation in Mumbai

When COVID struck for the first time back in early 2020, Mumbai was one of the worst-hit cities. The same pattern is emerging again. 

Mumbai has witnessed a steady rise in the number of infections. Municipality officials are traversing the length and breadth of Mumbai to understand the gravity of the situation. In just one day, the case-count went up by nearly 260 new cases. Despite the alarming new trend, Mumbai’s recovery rate continues to be 94% and patients are steadily being discharged. 

Officials are considering reintroducing certain restrictions such as strict quarantine and regulation of movement in housing societies. Police have urged people to exercise caution and minimize going out.

The global situation

New mutant strains of COVID are much more infectious than the original coronavirus and have spread across the world and even arrived in India. Even so, the global case count has dropped by 16%. Vaccination is underway. But 130 countries are still to receive the COVID vaccine. The UN is in the process of procuring vaccines for everyone. Major vaccine producers will do their part to ensure that no country is left out. 

The vaccination drive in India

The only way to defeat COVID and keep everyone safe is through vaccination. More than 94 lakh people have been vaccinated already. We are still in the stage of providing the vaccine to high-risk beneficiaries such as healthcare professionals, and frontline workers. Very soon, India will move to the next stage and start vaccinating people above 50 years of age.

So, now more than ever before when we are close to winning the war against COVID, we have to be cautious. We cannot relax the pandemic restrictions because if we do, the case count will spiral again. So, continue sanitizing, mask-wearing and social distancing and get the COVID shot when your turn comes.

Your health is in your own hands, so, take charge of it.

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 health care 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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