When it comes to getting vaccinated against Covid, you might be wondering one thing. Which vaccine is the best? If you get the option, should you choose Covaxin or Covishield? Or should you wait for the Russian or the made-in-US Pfizer vaccine? Which of these vaccines have minimum side effects?
When we get any vaccine, the vaccinated area may pain a little or get swollen. These are known as the local side effects. And the other kind of side effects are the Systemic Side Effects. These may include fever, headaches, and many people feel fatigued. These last for a couple of days and then they’re fine. In Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines these side effects are fewer after the first dose. But are more common after the second dose. In the AstraZeneca vaccine, the side effects are more after the first dose. And few after the second dose. These are the common side effects but there are some rare side effects of the vaccines as well.
What percentage of people suffer from these common side effects approximately?
These are seen in 10-35% of people. For AstraZeneca, it is seen that this combination of fever and headache, etc one out of three people may get this.
Am I at a higher risk for getting the side effects if I have some pre-existing condition?
We have tried to find any risk factor that may cause one person to get a side effect more than another but nothing like that has been identified yet. It is known as Idiosyncratic. We don’t know whom it’s going to affect. So there is no way of predicting. But now it seems like this might be a Class Effect. It means that these might be seen in all the Adenovirus vectored vaccines. This is also seen in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. So does Covaxin have any such side effects? We don’t know yet, millions of people haven’t gotten this vaccine. So we don’t know about it, it may crop up in future. It may, but most of the inactivated vaccines are generally safe.
Covaxin or Covishield or should they wait for Pfizer to arrive? The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will not come to India. If they come, that’ll be through donations. And that will be decided by the Government. So we wouldn’t have any choice. The only choices will be Covishield and Covaxin. There will be no other vaccine till August or September. If we think about the relative advantages and disadvantages You will have to take 2 doses of Covaxin 4 weeks apart. The vaccine’s effect will be after 6 weeks. The entire immunization will be complete and protection will start. And the interim data that we’ve seen till now indicated that there will be 81% protection. After taking only 1 dose of Covishield the protection is around 70%. For taking the second dose, it is better to delay it as it has better efficacy. We know this because there have been several immunogenicity studies in the UK. In which the immune response has been observed in detail. So it takes time to get both doses of Covishield. Because of the larger interval. But you do get some protection after the first dose. -And the first dose of Covaxin… -Till now… We don’t know about the first dose because it hasn’t been studied yet. So no data. And in the data of Covishield, we’ve seen very rare side effects but for Covaxin we don’t know yet and nothing has come up either. This can be a comparison between the two. But obviously, people should take whichever they’re getting. If we think about which vaccine we should take between Covishield and Covaxin, We should get whichever we’re getting.