Vaccines for Covid-19

Novel coronavirus, which emerged from Wuhan city, China, in 2019 (thus called Covid-19), caused havoc worldwide. It is a new virus, and nothing was known about it when it outbroke in various countries. However, in record time, research was conducted, which came up with some valuable measures to control the spread of the virus. Wearing a mask, frequent sanitization, and maintaining social distancing are some of the control measures taken throughout the world. However, that was not enough to stop the virus from spreading or save someone from dying. The most crucial need of the hour was a vaccine that can protect all from the virus and be safe for human use.

Many vaccines circulating throughout the world are partially effective for Covid-19 treatment (no vaccine has claimed 100% efficacy yet). Each vaccine has its own specialities and drawbacks. Also, the governments of many countries have circulated only a particular vaccine among their citizens.

So let us find out which vaccine is available in your country and which vaccine is suitable for you.

1)Sputnik V :
In record time, Russia made the world’s first vaccine for Covid-19, the Sputnik V, on August 11, 2020. The vaccine underwent widespread trials throughout Russia and was deemed both safe and effective. It also has a high efficacy of 91.6%, as reported in phase 3 trials. Sputnik V is a viral vector vaccine that is given in two doses 3-10 weeks apart. Viral vector vaccines contain live viruses that produce immunity to fight the primary Covid-19 disease. Although the two doses are different, immunity is provided by both the vectors together. It is widely available in Russia and China and is planned to be manufactured by many other countries, including Hungary, South Korea, India, Bangladesh and Argentina. India got its approval for the use of Sputnik V in late April amid difficult pandemic situation in the country. The first batch of Sputnik V arrived on May 1, 2021, and more collections are to come soon.

2)Covaxin :
One of the earliest vaccines to be found effective was India’s indigenously developed Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research. It is an inactivated vaccine where dead Covid-19 are injected which do not cause any infection but can trigger the immune system to produce antibodies. Its efficacy is 81% in phase 3 trials and can 100% eliminate severe symptoms. With research showing promising results, it got approval in India on January 3, 2021, and has been subsequently transported to many countries, including Mauritius, Paraguay, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Philippines, Iran and Mexico have also approved Covaxin on emergency use.

3)Covishield :
The Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine is called by its brand name Covishield in India. It was invented by Oxford University in collaboration with AstraZeneca and was approved in the UK in early December 2020. It was also the first vaccine to be approved by India along with Covaxin for emergency use on January 3, 2020. It consists of a weakened form of a common cold virus (an adenovirus) from chimpanzees modified to look like coronavirus. This viral vector vaccine is given in two doses which contain the same virus. Covishield claims 70% efficiency after the first dose and nearly 90% efficiency after the second dose (given after 12 weeks) and can 100% eliminate a severe infection. The two doses are given at an interval of 4 to 12 weeks, where increasing the gap between the doses tends to increase the efficiency. It has been approved by a large number of countries, including the US, the UK, the European Union, and many African and South Asian countries. It shows very rare side-effects of blood clotting, for which it is being considered to be banned in some European countries like Denmark, the reason being unknown. However, it is otherwise very effective and is widely available all across India, with Indian people hardly receiving any side effects.

4)Pfizer-BioNTech :
This is one of the best vaccines to prevent Covid-19 treatment with efficacy reaching 95%, developed jointly by Pfizer and BioNTech. It is also the first vaccine approved by WHO for emergency use on December 31, 2020. It is approved in developed countries like the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, the European Union, Switzerland and Singapore. It is a nucleoside-modified mRNA encoding a mutated form of the full-length spike protein of the Covid-19 virus. It is a two-dose vaccine with a gap of 21 days. Despite its popularity, minimal side-effects and availability, its main drawback is the storage facility. This vaccine should work only when stored and handled at a shallow temperature of -60℃ to -90℃. Unfortunately, no such super-cold storage facilities are available in India, nor do the supply chains. Thus it is not approved by the Indian Government at the present scenario.

5)Moderna :
Moderna is another high-efficiency vaccine invented by Moderna, the United States Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Similar to Pfizer-BioNTech, it involves nucleoside-modified mRNA encoding a mutated form of the spike protein of Covid-19. It is given in 2 doses at a gap of 28 days. It also required ultra-cold storage facilities, which are not available in India at present. Hence the vaccine is yet to be approved by the Indian Government. It also has around 95% efficiency.

6)Sinopharm :
Sinopharm just got its approval from WHO on May 7, 2021, and it became the first non-Western approved vaccine. Sinopharm is developed in a traditional way as an inactivated vaccine similar to Covaxin. Sinopharm is developed in China, the country from where the virus originated. Sinopharm shows overall efficiency of 79%, while some countries like UAE and Bahrain reported 86% efficiency in their phase 3 trials. It is authorized for general use in Bahrain, UAE and Seychelles apart from China, while it is approved for emergency use in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Maldives. It is also a two-dose vaccine with an interval of around 21 to 28 days in between. It is not yet approved in India.

So which vaccine is available in your area? The vaccine in your area most likely to be safe for you as it is been approved by your country. Mention in the comment section how you feel after taking a vaccine dose.

Don’t forget that exercise is a good way to increase the efficacy of the vaccine. A few days after taking the vaccine dose you can start off with light exercises and yoga which is shown to boost antibody development. You can buy a yoga mat for your daily exercises by clicking here.

All the information is sourced from reliable sources on the internet and is not the author’s personal views.

Written by – Himadri Paul

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