Which COVID-19 vaccines are licensed in India?
As of now two vaccines Covishield (which manufactured by Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin (which manufactured by Bharat Biotech Limited) that have been granted emergency use authorization by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) in India.
And along with this, 5 more companies in India are also involved in making vaccines for covid-19, which are Zydus Cadila, Panacea Biotec, Indian Immunologicals, Mynvax, and Biological E.
Which one is better between Covaxin and Covisheild
There is no head-to-head comparison done between the two vaccines being used in India so one cannot choose one over the another. Both would work fine in preventing the infection as well as prevent a person from going into a severe state of the disease. As a long-term effect, it would be preventing death for elderly people or those who have co-morbidities.
If I have received the vaccine as a health worker, so how will my family members receive the vaccine (as they are exposed as well)?
The people at the highest risk of exposure such as health care and frontline workers will receive the vaccine on priority. These staffs are also likely a source of infection of their family members. And other family members will be vaccinated according to the age-specific priority by the Government of India.
Will the Children and Pregnant Women also be vaccinated?
There is no clarity on whether children and pregnant women can be given the vaccines. But here are some clinical trials now underway to test the effectiveness and safety of the COVID 19 vaccines in children.
COVID-19 affects all age groups; however, morbidity & mortality is several times higher in adults particularly in those above the age of 50 years. Children have either asymptomatic or mild infections. The general practice is to first evaluate any new vaccine in the older population and then age reduction is done to assess the safety and effectiveness in the pediatric population. The currently available vaccines have not been evaluated in children so far.
Is Covishield the same as the vaccine been given in the UK by AstraZeneca?
Yes, the Covishield vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, is based on the same patent technology as the AstraZeneca vaccine.
What is Phase I, II, and III of a clinical trial for a vaccine?
Pre-clinical:- Vaccine development in laboratory animals
Phase 1 Clinical trial (a small number of participants):- Assess vaccine safety, immune response and determine right dosage (short duration)
Phase 2 Clinical trial (few hundred participants):- Assess safety and the ability of the vaccine to generate an immune response (short duration)
Phase 3 Clinical trial (thousands of participants):- Determine vaccine effectiveness against the disease and safety in a larger group of people (duration 1-2 years)