India is currently dealing with a devastating second Covid-19 wave that has swept through the nation, crushing the country's health infrastructure and overburdening frontline medical workers.
The number of coronavirus cases in the country is increasing day by day. India registered a slight dip in COVID-19 cases as it registered 3,68,147 new coronavirus infections and 3,417 related deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the union health ministry on Monday morning. With this, the cumulative count of the cases has gone up to 1,99,25,604.
In order to stop the spread, vaccination is said to be the only alternative. Currently, the third phase of vaccination has started in the country. On May 1, everyone above 18 years of age became eligible to get themselves vaccinated against novel coronavirus.
The vaccines currently available in the country are Covishield from Serum Institute of India and Covaxin from Bharat Biotech. Last month, the Drug Controller General (DCGI) had issued permission for Dr Reddy's Laboratories to import the Russian COVID vaccine Sputnik V to India for emergency use.
The first batch of the vaccine arrived in India recently. In the meantime, let's see which vaccines differ from each other and how effective they are. Covishield is developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. Covishield is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. And Covaxin, the indigenous vaccine is manufactured by Bharat Biotech.
In September last year, Dr Reddy's had partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to conduct the clinical trials of Sputnik V and distribute the vaccine in India. In addition to trials conducted in Russia by RDIF. Phase two and three clinical trials of the vaccine were carried out by Dr Reddy's in India. The Sputnik V, launched in India on May 1, has been developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). In India, the vaccine will be manufactured by six companies under the supervision of Dr. Reddy's Lab.
How are these vaccines made?
COVAXIN: The indigenous Covaxin, inactivated vaccine is developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech's BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) high containment facility. The vaccine is developed using Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell derived platform technology. Inactivated vaccines do not replicate and are therefore unlikely to revert and cause pathological effects. They contain dead virus, incapable of infecting people but still able to instruct the immune system to mount a defensive reaction against an infection.
COVISHIELD: Covishield virus is a vector vaccine. It uses corona virus-like spike proteins using the adenovirus ChAD0x1 found in chimpanzees. It develops antibodies against it once it enters the body.
SPUTNIK V: Sputnik V, on the other hand, is a viral vector vaccine. The difference is that the vaccine is made by two viruses instead of one. Both doses are different. This is not the case with Covishield and Covaxin. Sputnik V uses two different vectors for the two shots in a course of vaccination. The efficacy of Sputnik V was determined to be 91.6 per cent as per a published article in the Lancet, one of the world's oldest and most respected medical journals. Sputnik V is now approved for use in 60 countries around the world. It ranks second among coronavirus vaccines globally in terms of the number of approvals issued by government regulators.
Which vaccine is most effective?
When it comes to effectiveness, all three vaccines have been shown to be very effective. All three vaccines meet WHO standards. Data are still coming in from clinical trials and studies are underway on how effective the vaccine is.The Covishield vaccine is 70% effective. As the gap between the two doses increases, it's effectiveness increases. The vaccine not only saves from serious symptoms but also shortens the recovery time. This means that the patient recovers faster if he has tested covid positive. The effectiveness of COVAXIN is 78%. The vaccine is said to be 100 percent effective in preventing severe symptoms and death. The Sputnik V vaccine is also the most effective. Its efficacy is 91.6 percent.