It’s the second year running since we were forced to live in the ‘new normal’. The COVID-19 pandemic has been sending shock waves throughout the world since 2020. Amidst this chaos, we have been fighting back ceaselessly while trying to find a cure. In April 2021, the second and even more disastrous wave of this pandemic reared its head in India. This put an enormous amount of pressure on the entire healthcare sector. Soon, vaccines began to be promoted seriously as a critical preventive strategy against COVID-19.
Currently, India is administering three vaccines: Covishield, Covaxin, and Sputnik V. You might have heard influencers, celebrities, government bodies, and even politicians urging people to get vaccinated.
Know your vaccine options: Covishield, Covaxin, and Sputnik V
According to the Indian government’s stats, more than 344 million people have received their vaccine shots, including those who have received their second shot as well. The Health Minister of India has also announced four new vaccines which are in the pipeline. The government disclosed that India will have access to more than 2 billion vaccine doses between August and December.
Covaxin and Covishield are being circulated across the country for the 18–44 category as well. With Sputnik V ready to be available in another few weeks, the hope is that gradually, India might be a largely COVID-19-free country. The other vaccines – Biological E, Novavax, Gennova, and Zydus Cadila – are undergoing clinical trials. Soon after human trials, they will be coming into play and increasing the rate of vaccination.
More about the COVID-19 vaccines
One of the most common and highly recommended vaccines in India, Covishield has been formulated in the Serum Institute of India (SII). This is India’s version of the vaccine made by AstraZeneca, the multinational pharmaceutical, in collaboration with the University of Oxford.
This vaccine uses a genetically modified chimpanzee adenovirus to carry COVID-19 protein into the body, which gets the immune system to react and fight against it. According to studies, the vaccine is up to 90% efficient against the Indian, UK, and Brazilian variants of the virus. This means that if taken properly, it will offer a 90% degree of protection against any of these variants. However, to receive such perks of the vaccine, one has to take two shots of Covishield over three months (12 weeks).
This is an Indian-origin vaccine made by renowned pharmaceutical firm Bharat Biotech. This uses inactivated viruses to get the body to defend itself.
Earlier, a stir in the news had alleged that Covaxin had been unapproved in the Phase 3 trials; instead, it had been released in the market owing to the urgency. However, after these allegations, international researchers and scientists investigated and approved the vaccine for its coverage and efficacy.
The efficacy of Covaxin is approximately 81% which, although less than Covishield, has proven to be very effective in such pressing situations. An ICMR study discovered that Covaxin also has the capability of neutralizing UK, Brazilian, as well as Indian variants of this virus. The efficacy of this vaccine against the South African variant is under surveillance while Covishield was reportedly only 10% effective against this version.
This is the third and probably the most effective vaccine available in India, with an efficacy of 91.6%. Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, a Russian serum institute, developed this formulation using human adenoviral vectors that cause the common cold.
After the aforementioned vaccines, Sputnik V is the one that is approved by both scientists and the government. Its production is underway. Unlike the other vaccines, a person is recommended to take only a 21-day gap between the two shots of Sputnik V.
The first batch of Sputnik V had arrived in India in May with 1.5 lakh doses. The government had already declared that the vaccine will be manufactured in India itself under the supervision of Dr. Reddy’s laboratories. This is going to happen in 5 different labs. The next batch will be available across 9 different cities: Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Baddi, Miryalaguda, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Kolhapur, and Bagalur. The government has also assured that once the vaccine is manufactured and supplied by local formulators in India, the price will reduce.
Have you heard about Ketto yet?
In these tough times, public organizations, individuals, NGOs, and private companies have been tirelessly conducting relief efforts. Some actively participated in providing daily nourishment to marginalized communities or daily-wage workers facing unemployment during the second wave. Others worked towards procuring oxygen supplies. Many campaigns were conducted to raise money for people and communities who were in dire need due to their loss of livelihood.
Ketto is a platform used to aid such efforts. This is an Indian online crowdfunding platform where people can contribute to individual causes and campaigns. It hosts both COVID-19 relief efforts and people who found themselves compromised healthwise or financially during the pandemic. Fundraisers to help cities and people struck by natural calamities have been conducted on Ketto earlier.
Ketto is free for everyone to join. Entrepreneurs, individuals, and even NGOs can register to get their campaigns or community relief efforts funded. In the past 7–8 years, Ketto has raised about 1,100 crores for around 2 lakh campaigns, from 55 lakh donors.
Wrapping up on COVID-19 vaccines
By the end of 2021, it is anticipated that India will get more than four vaccine variants to supplement the active vaccination drives. If you have read this far, you would have realized how important it is to get vaccinated, as it is the most effective preventive measure against COVID-19, besides double-masking and amping up our hygiene protocols. It will not only safeguard your body but your entire family too.
You can book your vaccine slot on CoWIN according to the categories eligible for vaccination and get a shot. Moreover, if you wish to aid on-ground relief efforts and help the underprivileged during these unprecedented difficult times, visit Ketto for regular updates on effective campaigns.
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