Two of the Covid–19 vaccines available in India are Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and Covishield by the Serum Institute of India. Many people have wondered which is better between Covaxin and Covishield? Here, we take a look at each vaccine so that you can choose well.Covaxin
Covaxin is an indigenous Covid–19 vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV). The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved Covaxin’s Phase 1 & 2 Human Clinical Trials in July 2020, which led to decent safety outcomes and enhanced immune response. Immune–potentiators, also known as vaccine adjuvants, in Covaxin increases its immunogenicity. The vaccine is easy to store since it does not need subzero temperatures.Covishield
Covishield was developed by Oxford–AstraZeneca, while its Indian variant was distributed by the Serum Institute of India (SII). Covishield differs from Covaxin in the way it is made. While Covaxin’s component includes the inactivated Coronavirus, Covishield is made using a viral vector obtained from a virus found in chimpanzees. Instead of using the inactive coronavirus, the viral vector in Covishield imitates the novel coronavirus. Covishield, too, does not require subzero temperature, and can be stored at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.
Which vaccine is better – Covaxin Vs. Covishield?
Both the vaccines are effective in providing protection against Covid–19. There are mainly two differences that you should know to determine which is better between Covaxin and Covishield?
Gap between two doses
For a vaccine to be fully effective, health authorities advise individuals to receive at least two doses. The first vaccine requires up to a few weeks to develop immune cells. Although the number of weeks differs from vaccine to vaccine, Covaxin requires a gap of 4 to 6 weeks between two doses while Covishield requires 12 to 16 weeks. Therefore, Covishield will take a longer time for complete efficacy.
Both Covaxin and Covishield are accepted across India, and you can travel domestically by taking the necessary precautions. However, Covishield lets you travel to almost all overseas countries where Indians are allowed to enter. Although the Government of India is reaching out to countries to accept Covaxin, only a limited number of countries have accepted the plea. European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved Covishield and this has enabled Covishield to get the green pass from 19 European countries. However, only 12 EU countries recognize Covaxin as a valid Covid–19 vaccine. Hence, when it comes to international travel, Covishield has a slight upper hand to date.
Bottom line: The choice of which vaccine is better, depends on your unique requirements. If you plan to travel abroad soon, you may want to take Covishield. However, if you wish to avoid the long wait time that comes with Covishield to be fully vaccinated and international plans are not on your mind, then Covaxin would be the better choice. Do get your dose as soon as you can to keep yourself protected against Covid–19. Also, considering the uncertain times we are living in, it is vital to have a comprehensive health insurance policy in place. A health cover will ensure your financial stability in case of a medical emergency.
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