Pina Colada, LIIT, Mojito are some of my favorite cocktails. Are we not missing being with our friends and holding a glass of our liked cocktail? Speaking of cocktails’ the latest one in the market is one of the covid-19 vaccines. This latest cocktail has raised a lot of questions about our well-being and safety. To understand and decide what to go ahead with, we need to understand both of our main ingredients that are Covishield and Covaxin.
COVISHIELD: INGREDIENT 1
Covishield vaccine is based on the latest and more evolved viral vector platform technology. In this, a chimpanzee adenovirus, which causes the common cold in chimpanzees and does not affect humans, is used. It is an mRNA vaccine. The mRNA of the adenovirus when injected into us gives a message to our cells to produce a protein or a piece of the protein like that of Coronavirus. This protein triggers an immune response and antibodies are produced inside our bodies. These antibodies then protect us when the actual Covid-19 virus attacks us.
This technology has been used earlier to produce vaccine for Ebola virus and has been highly effective.
COVAXIN: INGREDIENT 2
Covaxin on the other hand is based on the old technology of inactivated vaccines. It is time-tested technology and has helped the world to eradicate several diseases like:
Seasonal influenza, Rabies, Polio, Pertussis, and Japanese encephalitis. In this technology, an inactivated complete viron is injected into a person. It cannot infect the person. But, teaches the immune system to build an active defense mechanism against an active virus.
BENEFITS OF COCKTAIL
In the world, several other vaccines have been produced based on mRNA technology such as Astra Zeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, etc. Tests have been conducted on mixing the doses of two different vaccines, for example taking one shot of say Astra Zeneca and the second dose of Pfizer.
Several benefits have come to light due to mixing of the vaccines
If one vaccine has low efficacy against a particular strain and the other has a higher efficacy. Taking one shot of each provides you with a boosted efficacy against both variants. Taking a booster dose of say Pfizer if you have had two jabs of Astra Zeneca is also recommended.
In countries in Europe, if there is a shortage of a particular drug then taking a jab of another company’s vaccine has helped the people to be on schedule and not miss their vaccine shots.
However certain minimal and short-lived side effects have been seen in people who took mixed doses. These side effects vary from chills, fatigue, fever, headache, joint pain, muscle ache, and/or soreness at the injection site lasting for not more than 3-4 days. However, at times these side effects have also been seen in people taking the same vaccine jabs.
We have discussed the benefits of taking mixed doses of different vaccines based on the same technology. Now coming to Covishield and Covaxin. These are based on two different technologies and it is difficult to predict the outcome of mixing the two doses. Tests are on and if the researchers find that mixing two doses is safe and fruitful it will be a blessing for India. India is a country of vast population and small area. Tremendously large-scale production is required to vaccinate the entire population at the earliest. More and more different vaccines are soon going to flood the country.
Most rural India is hesitant to take the vaccine. If each one of us educates 2-3 people about the importance of the vaccine we will soon achieve herd immunity. The time will soon come when we will be able to party again. So, be it Covaxin, Covishield, or the mixed dose but do get vaccinated at the first opportunity. Be safe from Coronavirus and be rid of the pandemic!