Coronavirus Vaccine : Is Covishield Better Than Covaxin Or Vice Versa? And...

Coronavirus Vaccine : Is Covishield Better Than Covaxin Or Vice Versa? And Other Things You Should Know

Coronavirus Vaccine : Is Covishield Better Than Covaxin Or Vice Versa? And Other Things You Should Know

Is Covishield better than Covaxin or vice versa? And other things you should know

The second phase of COVID-19 vaccination has kicked off to a good start. After healthcare workers, the country’s senior citizens and select people over 45, with comorbidities are being prioritized to get doses of Covaxin and Covishield. The quick roll-out of Covaxin and Covishield is nothing short of ambitious for India. However, there are certain myths and adverse reactions which can scare people from getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Getting vaccinated right now is important

While both the vaccines have been deemed safe for use, and adverse reactions have been rarely observed, there are also certain possible side-effects individuals need to be aware of. Since the people being administered the vaccine right now can also have frail immunity, awareness and knowing what to expect can quash out fears.

We tell you about the possible side-effects to expect with each vaccine, and which vaccine might be more suited for someone.

Covaxin vs Covishield: Are there differences?

Broadly speaking, both Covaxin and Covishield have been developed in a similar manner. The only difference between the two is that while Covishield has passed through complete 3 stages of testing, Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech is still in the last scale of study.

Both Covaxin and Covishield (Oxford-AstraZeneca make) are homegrown, traditional vaccines developed using mechanisms that have been depended on for long. Hence, they may be termed relatively safer than other modern vaccines, and carry a lower than usual risk of side-effects. Clinical studies have also proved that Indian vaccines have good efficacy rates right now.

The two vaccines work to build up the antibody count in the body, which will alert the body to unleash protective defences whenever a future attack is suspected. Thus, any vaccine hesitancy rates and misinformation about the same need to be done away with.

Side-effects of Covaxin

Covaxin, which has been developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech uses an inactive version of the virus. According to the factsheet specified by the company, mild, reactogenic side-effects can be expected post-injection. Some of the side-effects which have been noticed till right now include redness in the arm, pain at the injection site, low-grade temperature, malaise, headache, vomiting, weakness and fatigue.

Again, while extreme reactions haven’t been noticed exponentially right now, scientists have warned that there is very less chance of developing unusual reactions, which can include difficulty breathing, throbbing pulse, erratic heartbeat, swelling, extreme rashes, unnerving fatigue and body pain.

Side-effects of Covishield

The Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine, marketed in India as Covishield was one of the first competitors in the race and largely considered a safe vaccine to use. However, recent reports from France, regarding certain side-effects made many consider it a tad bit unsafe for use, especially amongst the senior groups.

Nonetheless, the factsheet maintains that a person can develop some symptoms, on the milder side such as pain, warmth, itching, bruising, fatigue, chills, fever, nausea, muscle ache, lumps and malaise. Severe side-effects such as extremely high temperature (over 102 degrees Farhenheit), coughing, breathing difficulties, nervous problems, anaphylaxis are possible, though rare. It should be noted that the severe reactions, observed during the clinical studies were ruled out to be unrelated to the vaccine.

Who shouldn’t take Covaxin?

Right now, while people aren’t allowed the choice to choose the COVID vaccine, either in India or outside, certain pre-existing conditions and problems may make some people skip out on a certain vaccine dose. This is also the reason people with allergies, comorbidities have been asked to get a doctor’s consult before progressing.

Nonetheless, investigative studies have observed that the Covaxin dose may be slightly unsafe for people who might be running a fever at the time of administration, are on blood-thinning medications, suffering from immune disorders, bleeding problems. Pregnant/ lactating women, ones suffering from an immune deficiency/ or on any sort of immuno drugs may be offered a choice to either delay vaccination, or get the other vaccine dose of their choice.

Who should be careful about Covishield?

With Covishield, the one thing to be careful about includes any pre-existing allergy you may have. According to guidelines, if people have had a bad reaction, allergy or are sensitive to certain foods/ ingredients which might be present in the Covishield dose, may prefer skipping the dose, or getting a prior consult first.

Again, those on blood-thinning medications and the ones planning to conceive are also being advised to wait right now. People who may have recently had COVID-19, or might be running sick can also consider postponing their turn for vaccination by upto 3-4 weeks.

What happens if you develop an adverse, concerning side-effect?

Even though vaccine-related adverse reactions are on the rarer side, there are certain protocols set in place which can allow authorities to deal with the unpleasant side-effect in the right way, and get the medical attention it deserves.

What we must remember is that most side-effects, including the serious ones, can be treated if medical help is accessed in time. Milder side-effects usually resolve in a matter of 2-3 days and do not require much attention.

If a person does happen to develop a bad rash, swelling or allergy from the first shot, he/she will be advised to postpone getting the second vaccine dose right now.