10 Things to Know About SII’s Covishield Vaccine

Who should avoid the Covishield vaccine? How many doses to take and how often? Read more here.

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Who Will Get the Covishield Vaccine?
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There’s much excitement and confusion about the COVID vaccines in India. To help out, the Serum Institute of India has released a fact-sheet with some relevant information abut their vaccine Covishield, like how many doses to take, how efficacious it is, who should avoid the vaccine and more.

FIT breaks it down.

1. Who Will Get the Vaccine?

It has been approved for restricted use in an emergency situation for individuals 18 years of age and above. It is advised that pregnant women weigh the risks before taking the shot.

2. Who Should Skip It?

People with severe allergies would need to be extra careful and should only take the vaccine if recommended by their doctor. People with allergies to the ingredients should avoid the vaccine.

3. Speaking of, What Are The Ingredients?

According to their fact sheet, L-Histidine, L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, Polysorbate 80, Ethanol, Sucrose, Sodium chloride, Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA), Water for injection.

4. How Many Doses Are Needed?

The vaccination course includes two doses of 0.5 ml each. It is important that the second dose be given between 4 to 6 weeks post the initial dose to complete the course.

5. Does it Affect Fertility?

So far there is no data on this. Preliminary animal studies don’t show any adverse effects to fertility.

6. What Are the Benefits of the Vaccine?

According to the SII pamphlet, in their ongoing clinical trials, Covishield has been shown to prevent COVID infection when two doses are given 4 and 12 weeks apart.

How long does it protect against COVID? This is unclear as of now.

According to the data, Covishield could provide a protective immune response four weeks after the second shot.

7. So, What is the Efficacy?

Based on data from the clinical trials in the United Kingdom, Brazil, and South Africa, giving two full doses of 0.5 ml each has generated an efficacy of 62.10 per cent.

But when the second dose was given 12 weeks after the first does, the efficacy was at 78.79 per cent. This indicates that the 12 week gap is vital.

8. Are There Any Side Effects to Worry About?

It’s important to note that most vaccines elicit some common side effects like headaches and pain at the injection site.

For Covishield, the very common side effects that may be seen in more than 1 in 10 people are:

  • Tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching, swelling, or bruising where the injection is given, generally feeling unwell, fatigue, chills, headache, nausea, and joint pains.

The common side effects for 1 in 10 people are:

  • A lump at the injection site, fever, vomiting, and flu-like symptoms such as high temperature, sore throat, runny nose, cough, and chills

The uncommon side-effects affecting up to 1 in 100 people are:

  • feeling dizzy, decreased appetite, abdominal pain, enlarged lymph nodes, excessive sweat, and skin rashes.

9. How Do You Deal With the Side Effects?

If you take the vaccine and experience a severe or uncomfortable allergic reaction, consult your doctor immediately. If your side effects persist, call your doctor.

Additionally, you can report these effects directly to the Serum Institute of India as they have opened a 24 x 7 Call Center Toll-Free Number (For Medical and Adverse Event-Related Queries Only): +91-1800 1200124

10. Finally, How Much Will it Cost?

So far this is uncertain. The 11 million doses of Covishield vaccine supplied to the Indian government were priced at Rs 200 per dose. However, MoneyControl reported that SII CEO Adar Poonawala indicated that the vaccine would cost Rs 1000 per dose (you need two) in the private market.

(With inputs from MoneyControl )

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