India is buckling under the second wave of coronavirus. It has outstretched overstretched country’s inadequate healthcare system to the limit. Amid the increasing cases, the government has already initiated vaccination drives in different parts of the country to curtail the spread. This has indeed led to a shortage of vaccines in the country. To meet the demand, countries like Britain, Germany, France, and the United States have pledged to offer required assistance to help the country sail through these tough times. 

India is now expected to receive the first batch of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine on May 1. Russia’s RDIF Sovereign Wealth Fund has signed agreements with five leading Indian manufacturers to provide 850 million doses of the vaccine a year. The RDIF has said it expects production of the vaccine in India to reach 50 million doses a month by the summer and to rise further.

Is the govt. too late?

After receiving heavy criticism from the public for not ensuring the timely availability of vaccines, Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally held a video conference with manufacturers of the vaccines and urged them to increase the production to make sure all citizens are inoculated in the shortest time. The government has also decided to waive customs duty on the import of COVID vaccines and other medical resources to help the country battle the worst health crisis.

Other international vaccine manufacturers like Johnson and Johnson and Moderna have been advised to seek emergency use approval. Indigenous vaccine candidates of Zydus Cadila, Biological E, and Genova are also in the pipeline and are currently conducting advanced clinical trials in India.

Covishield Vs Covaxin Vs Sputnik

Now that the government has announced that all citizens above 18 can get the Covid-19 vaccination from May 1, many are not sure which vaccination to get. Currently, Covishield and Covaxin are the two vaccines that are being administered. According to Dr. Trupti Gilada, “The efficacy of preventing a Covid infection might be slightly different for the two vaccines: 80 percent for Covaxin and 60-90 percent for Covishield.” She further went on to explain that the main benefit of getting inoculated is to prevent severe illness, hospitalisation, and even death. 

COVISHIELD

COVISHIELD

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. according to a BBC report, the vaccine comprises a debilitated version of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) from chimpanzees. It has been modified to look more like coronavirus – although it can’t cause illness. 

How Covishield works?

When a patient gets injected, the content of the vaccine stirs the immune system to jump up the production of antibodies and prepares it to attack coronavirus infection.

Price

Serum Institute has decided to supply Covishield at Rs 400 per dose to states and Rs 600 per dose to private hospitals. The Centre’s obtaining price is fixed at 150 per dose.

COVAXIN

covaxin

Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine and comprises killed coronavirus, thus making it safe to be injected into the body. Bharat Biotech used a sample of the coronavirus, isolated by India’s National Institute of Virology. When directed, immune cells recognise the dead virus, and stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies against the pandemic virus.

How Covaxin works?

Once the vaccine is administered, it enters the immune system to make antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The antibodies attach to viral proteins, such as the so-called spike proteins that stud its surface to fight the ill effects of the deadly virus. 

Price

The states will have to shell out Rs. 600 per dose and private hospitals will have to pay Rs. 1,200 per The Centre’s procurement price for this vaccine too is Rs 150 per dose.

Sputnik V Vaccine

Sputnik V Vaccine

Developed by Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, Sputnik comprises two different viruses that cause the common cold (adenovirus) in humans. The combination helps in weakening the adenoviruses and kills their ability to replicate. They are also altered so that the vaccine carries a code for making the coronavirus spike protein.

How Sputnik V works?

According to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Sputnik uses a different vector for each of the two shots in a course of vaccination. This delivers immunity with a longer duration than vaccines using the same delivery mechanism for both shots.