COVID–19 Vaccine in India: What We Know

Dr. Swati Rajagopal, Consultant - Infectious Disease & Travel Medicine, Aster CMI Hospital , Bengaluru

Which are the two Covid-19 vaccines and which one is recommended?

There are 2 vaccines available in India Covishield and Covaxin.

Covishield is recommended at present as data from Covaxin is yet to be made available to public in the next 2-3 months. Once the data is available and efficacy data is acceptable, the vaccine will also be recommended. At present, in India, if one takes the Covaxin vaccine, an undertaking is taken from the recipient.

Who should avoid Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin

  • People who are immune-compromised or are on medicines that affect the immunity
  • Have any history of allergies
  • Have fever
  • Have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding since the effect of the vaccine has not been studied on pregnant women and nursing mothers
  • Have received another Covid vaccine
  • Any other serious health-related issues as determined by the healthcare officer supervising the vaccine

Who should avoid Serum Institute’s Covishield

  • People who are severely allergic to any ingredient in Covishield. Ingredients in the vaccine include - L-Histidine, L-Histidine Hydrochloride Monohydrate, Disodium Edetate Dihydrate (EDTA), water for injection.
  • If the first dose of Covishield caused an allergic reaction, avoid the second dose
  • Any allergies
  • If you have a fever
  • If you are immunocompromised
  • Have received another Covid vaccine

What is the dosage and timeline for the two vaccines? (Dosage and timelines)

The vaccine is given in 2 doses with a gap of 28 days and each dose consists of 0.5ml of the vaccine.

How long will the immunity last?

It is tough to infer any information related to duration of immunity. We are not sure or certain if we need multiple doses, or combinations of different types of vaccine to give a robust immunity.

Can a person taking one particular brand now, take another brand’s vaccine when the immunity cycle is over?

At present, we strongly recommend that the brand of vaccine for the two doses remain the same