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How are Covaxine, Covishield and Sputnik V different from one another?

How are Covaxine, Covishield and Sputnik V different from one another?


With the launch of Sputnik V by Dr Reddy's Laboratories on May 14th, India is now marching ahead in its battle against the second wave of the deadly coronavirus with three vaccines in its arsenal. The vaccines now include Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield, Serum Institute of India’s Covaxin and Russia’s Sputnik V. With another vaccine added in the vaccination drive, here’s what you need to know about each of these and how they compare to one another in terms of various parameters. 

Manufacturers and Developers:

Sputnik V, Covaxine and Covishield are the three vaccines that the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization has given emergency use authorization  in India.  All these drugs have different origins and manufacturing.

Covishield has been developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute of India.  Covaxin, on the other hand, is manufactured by Bharat Biotech Limited IN association with ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) and NIV(National Institute of Virology).

Sputnik is the latest vaccine to be launched in India. It is developed by the Russian Ministry of Health and will be manufactured by the Hyderabad-based Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories in India.

Technology Used:

Sputnik V vaccine, quite like Covishield is an adenovirus based vaccine, a combination of Ad26 and Ad5 that’s further combined with SARS-CoV-2’S treatment. Sputnik V, also known as Gam-COVID-Vac, helps build an immune response to the virus. It is based on the same platform used in Covishield i.e. a weakened common cold virus is taken from chimpanzees and modified into a coronavirus.

Covaxine, on the other hand, is made of dead viruses. This is an inactivated vaccine that while being administered helps the immune cells to not only recognize the dead virus but also help the immune system to develop antibodies against the virus.

Efficacy and Safety:

The safety and efficacy data from clinical trials of vaccine candidates are examined The Drug Regulator of the country examines safety and efficacy of the vaccines before authorizing the same.  All three vaccines are said to have a comparable efficacy and safety rate once the entire dosage of the same vaccine is administered. Following are the efficacy rates  of each of the vaccines.

Sputnik V went through clinical trials in Russia and its interim results reveal an efficacy of 91.6%. This is a satisfactory efficacy rate that will be instrumental in bringing down the severity of the disease and could serve as an efficient protection against the lethal disease.

In terms of efficacy, India’s Covaxine is said to be 81% effective and Covishield which globally shows an efficacy of 70.4% will further be pushed to be 90% effective if its dose is taken weeks apart. 

Common Side-effects: 

While side-effects may be temporary and get resolved in a few days, it is also important to note that they may be subjective or differ from one person to the other. Let’s find out the commonly experienced side-effects in these three vaccines.

Since Russia’s Sputnik V is a viral vector vaccine it works by triggering antibody production in the body. The result of this response brings about mild side effects like inflammation that may range from headaches, injection site soreness or pain or flu-like symptoms.

When it comes to Covishield, studies prove that it is a safe vaccine and may have mild and temporary side-effects in some people. These may include fever, drowsiness, arm stiffness and pain, soreness at the injection site and bodyache.

Covaxin, as opposed to the other two vaccines, is developed in a more traditional way. This vaccine too may have temporary side-effects like swelling, sweating, malaise, nausea, arm site tenderness, redness, etc. 

By: Anubha Hatwal | on 2021-05-18

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