Covaxin is a covid 19 vaccine by Bharat Biotech, developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Virology (NIV), India.
Composition Of Covaxin :
Covaxin contains the following –
- 6 microgram of whole-virion inactivated SARS-CoV-2 antigen (Strain: NIV-2020-770)
- Aluminum hydroxide gel (250 micrograms)
- TLR 7/8 agonist (imidazoquinolinone) 15 microgram
- 2- phenoxyethanol 2.5 mg
- Phosphate buffer saline upto 0.5 ml.
This Covaxin is developed by using a killed or inactivated virus and contains the ingredients mentioned above.
How Covaxin works :
Unlike Covishield, Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine, so it does not cause any pathological effects like fever, headache, etc. As Covaxin made by a dead virus, so does not infect people. Still, it can teach the immune system of our body to build a defense reaction against an active infection. So our immune system will know how to deal the coronavirus infection and will be prepared to build our immunity against covid 19.
Covaxin associated risks :
As already said covaxin made by a dead virus, so it is really safe to use. This type of inactivated vaccines are not new. In fact, there are Seasonal Influenza, Polio, Pertussis, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis, and many other diseases for which same inactivated vaccines are used with the same technology for years! These inactivated vaccines have a safe track record for more than 50 years. So there is no such risks associated with it.
Covaxin efficiency rate:
The phase three trial results shows that covaxin has overall efficiency of 77.8% against symptomatic covid 19 illness. The result also shows that covaxin has 93.4% efficiency against severe symptomatic covid illness. Covaxin gives 65.2% protection against delta variant of coronavirus.
So, ultimately covaxin is highly effective with a lower chance of hospitalization. Here we should mention, just within India 46 milion people (the exact number is 460,10,306 as on 10th July, 2021) has already received covaxin with not a single fatal report.
As per reports only 12% people experienced commonly known side effects like headache etc. after taking covaxin dose. Less than 0.5% reported serious adverse effects like allergic reactions. So it is completely safe to use.
The study shows that Covaxin is also effective against UK variant strain. Study of the National Institute of Virology, India shows that Covaxin induced antibodies are able to neutralize the UK variant strains and other heterogeneous strains.
Covaxin vaccine process :
Covaxin is given as an injection in the upper arm (into the deltoid muscle)
Two doses of Covaxin is given. There should be a gap of 4 to 6 weeks between the two doses of Covaxin.
Who can get Covaxin?
Only for India, Covaxin can get anyone from age group of 2 years old babies. There is no upper age limit, it is safe for all. Other than INdia, the eligible age to get covaxin is 18+ years; WHO is yet to get approval to Covaxin for children and babies.
Previously only 18 + years people was allowed to give covaxin. But in November 2021, Indian Government approved Covaxin for the use of age group 2 years to 18 years. Yes, in trial it is proved that Covaxin is apparently safe to children. Thus Covaxin is the second vaccine for children in India other than the world’s first DNA vaccine ZyCoV-D.
Even pregnant woman can also take the covaxin only if they are safely eligible to take vaccine. To get the maximum benefits from any vaccine we recommend to follow some steps. Covaxin is allowed to give even in children, as it is consider to be the safest vaccine for children.
Who should not get Covaxin?
You should not receive Covaxin in the following conditions
- If you ever experienced a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients of covaxin.
- If you experienced a severe allergic reaction after the first dose of this vaccine.
- If you are currently having acute infection or fever
What should you mention to your vaccination provider before you get Covaxin?
Tell your vaccinator if you have any underlying medical condition and also if you are under any medication such as
- If you are taking any medication regularly, if so then for how long you are taking this and for which condition
- If you have any bleeding disorder and if you are on a blood thinner
- If you have any of the diseases that lead to poor or weak immunity (Immunocompromised)
- If you are under any medication that can affect your immune system
- If you have any allergies
- If you have a fever
- If you are pregnant
- If you have taken any other covid 19 vaccine
Approved by :
In India, Covaxin shots are given to many with zero side effects. So in India, Indian Government approved it for babies above 2 years of age to children of aged 17 years.
In November 2021, Covaxin got the approval of WHO (World Health Organization) for the emergency use as the covid 19 vaccines. Although covaxin is waiting to get approval for kids by WHO.
Omicron and Covaxin :
There is a new variant of covid 19 named Omicron is now the concern worldwide. As per reports Omicron may come out more deadlier than the delta variants of coronavirus. Cases have already reported from various countries including South Africa, United Kingdom, etc.
If we discuss on the medical point of view, Omicron has about 50 mituations, many of the mutations are on the spike protein and its receptor binding protein. It is important to remind that in delta variant there were only two mutations in the receptor binding protein.
But in case of omicron the number of mutation is 10 on the receptor binding protein. That is why WHO has already warned about the more infectious nature of Omicron that it can be more prone to spread. Though more research are needed to conclude about its deadly nature.
As Covaxin is made from a whole dead virus, (that is whole virion vaccine made from dead virus), it has better chance to protect us against this omicron variant. In fact, covaxin will protect more effectively against the mutant variants, be it omicron or any other variants. Simply put, covaxin will work better against any mutation of coronavirus compared to other vaccines. Why saying so?
Because covaxin can work in three different fatal regions at the same time. Simply one can say, covaxin is the hope against the Omicron variant. It is possi
Covaxin is included with vaccine adjuvants that helps to increase and boosts the power of vaccine. So it produces effective immune response inside our body.
It is highly effective against alpha variant (first observed in United Kingdom), gamma and zeta Varient (first observed in Brazil), Kappa Variant(first observed in India) and beta and Delta variants (first observed in RSA and India).
There is only 12% people Experienced commonly known side effects who received the vaccine and less than 0.5% experienced serious adverse effect. So it is very safe to use without any fatal report till date.