Home / Science / Health /  Covishield and Covaxin against Covid-19: All you need to know about the vaccines

India has formally approved the emergency use of two Covid-9 vaccines as it prepares for one of the world’s biggest inoculation drives. On Sunday, Drugs Controller General of India VG Somani gave the go ahead for the emergency-use of two coronavirus vaccines - Covishield and Covaxin. All states and union territories have already conducted a dry run of the vaccination programme. And, now with the govt's green signal it's a question of few days.

Here is all you need to know about these two vaccines. One is developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and the other by Bharat Biotech.

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Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine

-Covishield has been developed by Oxford University in collaboration with Astrazeneca. Serum Institute of India is their manufacturing and trial partner.

-Covishield uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector based on a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) that causes infections in chimpanzees and contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein.

-The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) has recommended the approval of two full doses of the vaccine administered around 4-6 weeks apart. The vaccine can be stored at temperatures between 2°C and 8°C.

-One dosing regimen shows the vaccine efficacy of 90 per cent when AZD1222 was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least a month apart. Second dosing regimen shows 62 per cent efficacy when given two full doses at least a month apart. Combined analysis has an average efficacy of 70 per cent, AstraZeneca said in a statement.

-SII plans to charge a special price of 200 per dose for the first 100 million shots that it supplies to the government, chief executive Adar Poonawalla said. The company plans to price the vaccine at 1,000 per dose in the open market, once it is allowed to do so by the government, Poonawalla said.

Bharat Biotech's Covaxin

-Covaxin is India’s first indigenous vaccine against Covid-19. It has been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology.

-Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine. This destroys the pathogen’s ability to replicate, but keeps it intact so that the immune system can still recognise it and produce an immune response.

ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava had said Covaxin is based on an inactivated whole virus, having potential to target mutated coronavirus strains including the UK variant. The data generated so far demonstrates a strong immune response (both antibody as well as T cell) and in-vitro viral neutralisation. The ongoing clinical trial is the largest trial on 25,800 subjects, in which already 23,000 volunteers have been enrolled including subjects with comorbid conditions.

-The vaccine will be administered in two doses and stored at 2-8° degrees Celsius.

-There has been no talk on the price of Covaxin. As per a report in Hindustan Times, Bharat Biotech’s vaccine is likely to cost less than 100.

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