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Which vaccine is better covaxin or covishield ?

Vaccination drives have been thrown open for 18+ citizens in India which is a big move in curbing the spread of the pandemic.
While there are reports of supply shortages and slot unavailability, there’s also a big looming question which is on every eligible vaccine beneficiary’s mind- Covaxin or Covishield, what should they choose? Is one vaccine jab more effective than the others? Does one prompt stronger antibody production?

Wanting to get one vaccine over the other is also making many willingly delay their vaccination. With the delayed gap in Covishield’s dosing schedule and immune protection both vaccines offer, many are now contemplating what vaccine to get.

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Serum Institute of India marketed Covishield (also known globally as Oxford-Astrazeneca or Vaxzevria) are the two available vaccines in India. Both have surpassed approval nods and carry good, comparable efficacy rates which meet WHO standards. Covishield and Covaxin also are traditional vaccines, which are developed in a somewhat similar manner.

Who should get Covaxin right now?

Covaxin has been clinically proven to be well-effective against COVID-19, and may even work in preventing mutant variants from spreading. While the vaccine is a traditional model and carries reactogenic side-effects, case studies and data collected from vaccination so far have pointed out that of all vaccines, Covaxin delivers the least amount of side effects, such as fever, redness, chills or pain at the injection site.

So, for a person who is sensitive to pain, or worried about side effects, opting for Covaxin would be a safer option, according to Dr Kataria. It can also happen that the side effects are way milder, and make your vaccination experience safer.

Right now, Covaxin also has a shorter dosing timeline, which means that the doses will be given 4-6 weeks apart. One can also base the decision accordingly, especially if they have future commitments, or more susceptible to COVID-19 risks.

Those with a history or a risk of blood clotting may also be advised to take Covaxin right now since blood clotting is a reported side-effect with Covishield. However, it is still considered to be a ‘rare’ after-effect.

Do remember that side-effects may show up differently on everybody, and resolve in a while. Therefore, be rest assured, and get the jab when you can. For a more detailed comparison between both the vaccines, click here.
However, older people, those using any form of blood-thinning medications may be advised to not take Covaxin. Remember to check the fact sheet and make an informed call.

Who should opt for Covishield jab?

Covishield was one of the first vaccines approved for use and primarily used in India, since January 2021. While it too is a traditional vaccine, Dr _ warns that younger people, opting for the Oxford-Astrazeneca jab tend to feel more intense side effects than those who get Covaxin. Several reports also mention that Covishield showcases more immunogenic response (hence, making the way for more side effects).

Covishield jab is also primarily offered to older people or those with serious comorbidities. Those between 18-45 should also keep their health parameters in mind before signing up for the vaccine.

The bottom line

Do remember that both of the vaccines we have right now are equally effective. Even if they do not fully prevent COVID infections, both Covishield and Covaxin have been known to cut down severity and mortality risk associated with the infection.
The option of getting choices helps citizens, right now, make an informed choice. The vaccine availability may also depend state-by-state, so do not erroneously prolong your vaccination appointment. Getting any vaccine right now is better than no vaccine, so get the jab when you can.

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