The Covid vaccination distribution has officially started in the country. Covishield vaccine is being developed and distributed by Oxford University in association with AstraZeneca. During this situation, it is natural to have doubts and queries about the Covishield vaccine. A group of doctors are here to clear those queries.
What is the Covishield vaccine?
Covishield is a vaccine developed by the Serum Institute of India in collaboration with the Jenner Institute at Oxford University and the AstraZeneca Company.
The vaccine is a vector that modifies a type of adenovirus that infects chimpanzees. The genetic sequence required to produce the thorn-like spike protein in the mantle of the coronavirus SARS coV2 - 19 is integrated into the above vector virus.
This allows the person receiving the vaccine to produce the spike protein, and then produces Antibodies against it and acquires immunity.
Who should take the vaccination?
As of now, those above eighteen years of age are permitted to take the vaccination.
Studies on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in children under the age of 18, pregnant and lactating mothers are currently unavailable.
These matters should be disclosed to health workers prior to vaccination.
- If we are currently suffering from any ailment, details of it
- Severe allergies to medications, food, and vaccines, including covishield.
- Whether there is a fever at present.
- Whether we have any bleeding disorder and whether we are taking any medications to prevent blood clots
- If you have a disease that weakens the immune system or is taking medications that leads to it (immunocompromised)
- Whether pregnant or breastfeeding
- Whether you have already received any type of covid vaccine?
The vaccine is given in two doses of 0.5 ml each. The injection should be taken in the muscle on the left. The interval between two doses can range from 4 to 12 weeks, but the Indian government and vaccine manufacturers have defined an interval of four weeks.
How effective is this vaccine?
The efficiency of this vaccine is about 70 percent. However, it is said that the vaccine can be 100% effective against getting severe. It should be taken four weeks after the second dose to achieve complete immunity.
What are the side effects of this vaccine?
It is a relatively safe vaccine with no serious side effects.
Very common side effects (more than 10% of people)
- Pain, heat, swelling, redness and itching at the site of vaccination.
- Fatigue, muscle cramps, headache, nausea and joint pain (less than 10%)
- Fever, swelling at the injected area, vomiting, flu symptoms- Fever, sore throat, cold, cough.
- Minor side effects (approximately one percent)
- Dizziness, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, excessive sweating, ulcers, and inflammation of the lymph node. Side effects should be reported to a health professional immediately and get treatment.
(Written by: Dr. Sunil PK, Dr. Purushothaman KK, Dr. Kiran Narayanan, Dr. Jinesh PS)