India has so far approved three vaccines against the deadly COVID-19 to be used for its inoculation drive which started on January 16. The three vaccines approved by the Health Ministry are Serum Institute of India’s (SII) Covishield, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Russia’s Sputnik V. While Covaxin and Covishield are available since the vaccination drive started in January, Russia’s Sputnik V got the government’s approval last week and will now be distributed by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in India. With this, Sputnik V also became the second most expensive COVID-19 vaccine available in the country.
While the SII’s Covishield is developed by the Oxford University and pharma major AstraZeneca, the Covaxin has been developed by India’s Bharat Biotech in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The Sputnik V has been developed by Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, and like most vaccines, it also needs to be administered in two doses.
As the world’s biggest vaccination drive is underway, there is a lot of buzzes that surrounds the use of the vaccines, it’s efficacy and possible side effects. We at Jagran English bring you some noteworthy differences between the three vaccines available in India you must be aware of.
The efficiency rate of Sputnik V, Covishield & Covaxin:
The Russian vaccine, Sputnik V, recently approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has an efficacy rate of 91.6 per cent. It has a high response in curbing the severity of the virus.
In comparison to this, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin which has been recently found to be neutralizing against the UK variant has an efficacy rate of over 78 to 81 per cent.
Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine, on the other hand, has an efficacy rate of over 70.4 per cent. Its efficacy could reach up to 90 per cent if doses of the vaccine are taken weeks apart.
Possible side effects of the three vaccines:
Most of the side effects of the vaccines subside in a few weeks and they depend on person to person. However, the nature of these vaccines is different in all three vaccines.
According to a Lancet study published in February 2021 the side effects of Sputnik V includes:
- Pain at the injection site
- Flu-like illness
As per the Covaxin fact sheet, its side effects include:
- Redness, swelling, pain at the injection site
- Sweating and/ or chills
- Malaise, body ache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Itching and rashes
The side effects of Covishield are similar to that of Covaxin. They include:
- Pain at the injection site
- Moderate or high fever
- Drowsiness and lethargy
- Arm stiffness
- Body ache and pain
Prices of Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V:
Covishield: The SII had initially launched the vaccine at Rs 150 for the Central government, at Rs 400 for state governments and at Rs 600 for private hospitals. However, the company reduced the price by 25 per cent for state governments and is now selling its vaccine doses at Rs 300 to state governments. Meanwhile, the prices for the centre and private hospitals remains unchanged.
Covaxin: Covaxin is slightly expensive as compared to Covishield. For state governments, the vaccine is being marketed at Rs 400, which has been reduced from Rs 600, while for private hospitals and facilities, it has been priced at Rs 1,200. Bharat Biotech is selling the Covaxin doses at Rs 150 to the Central government.
Sputnik V: Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in association with Apollo Hospitals have priced the Sputnik V vaccine at Rs 1,250 (including the administration charges). However, the vaccine is currently being imported at a price of Rs 948 a dose, and with a 5 per cent GST, the cost of the vaccine for every dose comes to Rs 995.40.