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Covishield vs Covaxin: Benefits and Side Effects

Covishield vs Covaxin: Benefits and Side Effects

As we have entered the second wave of COVID-19, the fear of getting infected amongst people is taking a toll. Vaccines are the only available source of relief in these tough times. Before you decide to get jabbed, you must know the pros and cons of the most popular and approved vaccines in India, Covishield and Covaxin.


Covishield vs Covaxin: Manufacturer, Type, and Technology

Covishield has been developed and manufactured by the Oxford-Astrazeneca and The Serum Institute of India, respectively. On the other hand, Bharat Biotech Limited in Hyderabad has manufactured Covaxin with aid from the National Institute of Virology and Indian Council of Research.


Covishield has been made from the adenovirus, modified with the spike proteins of coronavirus to encourage the formation of antibodies in the human body. This technology is known as a viral vector platform technology, previously used to prepare vaccines for the Ebola virus. Covaxin, on the other side, has been developed using the Whole-virion Inactivated Vero Cell-derived technology. In simpler words, Covaxin contains a dead but complete virus particle of coronavirus that prompts the immune system to produce antibodies.

Covishield vs Covaxin: Eligibility and Doses

Covishield has been tested and approved in all individuals aged 18 years or above, while Covaxin can be administered to people aged 12 years or above. Covid vaccine registration was earlier initiated for people above 45 years of age, but every individual above 18 years of age can get vaccinated as per the latest guidelines. 


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Both Covaxin and Covishield are administered intramuscularly and in two doses. The second dose of Covaxin and Covishield is usually taken after 4-6 weeks and 6-8 weeks respectively. 


Covishield vs Covaxin: Efficacy and Benefits

Covishield, introduced in November 2020, depicted 70% efficacy in phase 3 clinical trials. However, the efficacy rose to 90% when the vaccine was administered half in the first dose, followed by a full dose after 28 days. Clinical research has indicated good tolerability and protection along with a significant improvement in the symptoms, reduction in the risk of complications, and improvement in the recovery period in patients infected with COVID-19.

Covaxin, introduced in February 2021, has been reported to have 78% efficacy. Clinical data indicates that Covaxin decreases the severity of infections by almost 100%.

Covishield vs Covaxin: Efficacy Against New Mutant Strains

The arrival of new mutant strains (UK Kent strain, Brazilian, South African strains, and the recent double and triple mutant strains) in India has made the virus much more dangerous. Covaxin has been reported to possess greater effectiveness in reducing infections and higher tolerance against most newer mutant strains.

Covishield vs Covaxin: Side Effects

Both Covishield and Covaxin have been associated with some mild side effects. You can consult a doctor if you notice any of the below symptoms:

  • Pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site.
  • Headache.
  • Fever.
  • Generalised weakness.
  • Joint and muscle pain.
  • Dizziness.

In addition, certain neurological complications and blood clots have been reported in a few patients with the Covishield vaccine. However, it has not been confirmed if these complications were due to the vaccination. 

You should consult our COVID specialist immediately if you notice tremors, clots, or any such symptoms. 

Precautions to Consider Post-Vaccination

After getting vaccinated, you must take the following precautions:

  • You should continue following the COVID appropriate behaviour which includes wearing a mask as and when necessary, sanitizing hands, washing hands using soap and water regularly, and maintaining social distancing.
  • It is normal to experience pain and fever after vaccination. Consult our COVID specialist and ask about the painkillers (e.g. paracetamol) you can administer.
  • You should drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and for quick recovery from the side effects of the vaccination.
  • You need to be extra cautious regarding the side effects if you are suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disease, and respiratory disease.
  • You should not miss the second dose of the vaccine at any cost. You should also ensure that the second dose is the same as the first administered dose.

Covishield vs Covaxin: Which One Should be Preferred?

As there is a lack of head-to-head trials comparing the efficacy and safety of the Covishield and Covaxin vaccine, it is difficult to conclude which one should be preferred over the other. However, both vaccines are quite effective in preventing the infection. Thus, the overall goal needs to be the reduction in the risk of severe complications due to infection, especially in older individuals or people with comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, respiratory problems, and heart problems. 

Therefore, it's not important which vaccine you take.

To keep the COVID infection at bay, get vaccinated today. Do not delay.