Covaxin vs. Covishield vs. Sputnik V: Know the Difference

Covaxin, Covishield, and Sputnik V are the three approved vaccines in India!

Sputnik V is the third coronavirus vaccine to be approved for use in India, following Covishield and Covaxin.

From efficacy, immunity, and side-effects, while the three approved vaccines for use carry good benefits in mitigating the risks of the harmful coronavirus, there are some noteworthy differences as well.

Efficacy of the vaccines

DGCI granted emergency use authorisation to the Sputnik V vaccine basis the interim results of the clinical trials conducted in Russia, which found that Sputnik V carried a whopping 91.6% efficacy rate and high response in curbing down the severity of the disease.

In comparison to this, India’s Covaxin, which has been recently found to be neutralizing against the UK variant virus, is over 81% effective, while Covishield, being used globally, has over 70.4% efficacy, which could be further pushed up to 90%, if doses are spaced weeks apart.

Side effects of the vaccines

Side effects of Sputnik V

  1. Headache

  2. Fatigue

  3. Pain at the injection site

  4. Flu-like illness

Side Effects of Covaxin

  1. Redness, swelling, pain at the injection site

  2. Fever

  3. Sweating or chills

  4. Malaise, body ache

  5. Nausea and vomiting

  6. Itching and rashes

  7. Headache

Side effects of Covishield 

  1. Pain at the injection site

  2. Redness

  3. Moderate or high fever

  4. Drowsiness and lethargy

  5. Arm stiffness

  6. Body ache and pain

Any vaccine, be it a traditional make or an mRNA model, supports its working by inducing specific immune-genetic effects, which are also reactogenic in nature.

Most of these side-effects, while they do resolve in a matter of days, can also differ from person to person. The nature of these side effects could also be minimally different from one vaccine to another.

What should you choose?

Given that people can book their preferred vaccines right now gaining prior information about the vaccines’ benefits and potential side effects is a good call to make.

That being said, it’s important to remember that all vaccines underuse meet approval and safety standards and almost equally effective in preventing coronavirus infections.

Hence, people are advised to take vaccine shots as and when one is made available to them.

Tips to follow before and after vaccination:

  1. Take to your doctor if you are on any medication course.

  2. Do not take the vaccine on an empty stomach and stay hydrated.

  3. If you regularly take OTC aspirin or pain killers, you may continue. However, if you want to avoid side effects from the vaccine, do not take these medicines before taking the vaccine.

  4. Cancel your appointment if you notice any Covid-like symptoms before getting vaccinated.

  5. After vaccination, stay at the vaccination centre for 15-30 minutes to monitor for immediate reactions.

  6. Report if you feel dizzy or have nausea, vomiting, or any allergic reaction.

  7. Drink plenty of fluids and keep your body hydrated after the vaccine dose.

  8. Avoid alcohol intake/smoking as it may dehydrate you.

  9. Be prepared for some minor side effects mentioned above as your body builds immune protection. These may go away in 1-2 days.

  10. Take paracetamol if you have any of the above symptoms. If they last for more than a week, contact your doctor immediately.

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