With the exponential rise in Covid-19 cases and India becoming the worst affected country in the pandemic’s second wave, swift inoculation seems to be the only way to protect the damage. Keeping this in mind, the Centre recently opened up vaccination for all adults.
India currently offers two indigenous vaccines — Covishield and COVAXIN — with three other options likely to be available soon.
What is the efficacy of all vaccines available and soon to be used in India?
Russia’s Sputnik V has been deemed to be safe and works in a way similar to the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab which is being made in India as Covishield.
Sputnik V gives around 92 per cent protection against Covid-19, late-stage trial results published in The Lancet reveal. Sputnik V has been approved so far in 60 countries, including Argentina, Palestinian territories, Venezuela, Hungary, UAE and Iran. Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical major Dr Reddy’s Laboratories will be importing the first batch of 125 million doses to India during this quarter.
The other candidate which is approaching final trials in India to test safety and efficacy includes ZyCov-Di, being developed by Ahmedabad-based Zydus-Cadila.
India is also hoping to get Hyderabad-based Biological E’s indigenous Covid-19 vaccine by August this year. Biological E Ltd is done with phase 1 and phase 2 trials. Now, they are ready for phase 3 trails.
Additionally, there is the already available Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech. The two doses are given four weeks apart. The vaccine has an efficacy rate of 78 per cent, the latest trial data says.
Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is being manufactured locally by the Serum Institute of India.
The jab is administered in two doses given between four and 12 weeks apart. International clinical trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine showed that when people were given a half dose and then a full dose, effectiveness hit 90 per cent.
What is the price of vaccines in India?
The Centre on April 19 loosened the eligibility criteria for COVID-19 vaccination and allowed private manufacturers like Serum Institute of India or Bharat Biotech to have greater flexibility in fixing prices for their vaccine output.
From May 1 onwards, state governments and private hospitals will be able to procure vaccines directly from manufacturers at the price that the latter choose to set.
At private hospitals, people who were 45 and above could get either vaccine for Rs 250. This is because the Centre had capped the price of vaccines at Rs 250 and thus no hospital could charge people more than that. At government hospitals, it is free for those above 45 years of age.
Is there a different price for Serum Institute’s Covishield?
The Serum Institute of India has announced prices for its Covishield vaccine. SII has said the vaccine would be sold at a price of Rs 600 per dose to private hospitals and Rs 400 per dose to state governments.
The above applies just for people between 18 and 45 who wish to get the Covishield vaccine. For those above 45, vaccines remain free in government hospitals and for Rs 250 in private counterparts.
Some states, however, have announced that all people above the age of 18 will be vaccinated for free. These include Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Chhattisgarh.
How to register for vaccines?
In December last year, the central government had announced the launch of the Co-WIN app to aid agencies with the distribution of vaccines to citizens. Notably, the app is also designed to enable citizens to self-register for the vaccination process.
The app comes with five modules, namely – Administrator module, Registration module, Vaccination module, Beneficiary Acknowledgement module, and Report module – to ensure smooth tracking and registration for COVID-19 vaccine in the country. The mobile app is also an upgraded version of the eVIN (Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network) and it will be available to download for free via the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.