Covaxin is one of the vaccines developed to provide immunity against the novel Coronavirus, which hit the world in the form of the pandemic in the year 2020. Covaxin being the first indigenous vaccine is a whole inactivated form of the virus, which Bharat Biotech, in collaboration with the ICMR or the Indian Council of Medical Research, developed. One can apply for immunization with Covaxin by Cowin booking through the official Cowin application.
The vaccine uses a killed or inactivated virus to stimulate an immune response in the body, which helps protect against the virus. Covaxin has undergone clinical trials in India and has been granted emergency use authorization by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for use in adults. This article provides an overview of Covaxin.
Manufacturing of Covaxin
As an inactive vaccine, Covaxin is developed using a traditional technology similar to an inactivated polio vaccine. Its manufacture began by initially using a sample of SARS-COV-2 which was isolated in India by the National Institute of Virology. This isolated sample was used for preparing a massive quantity of the virus with the implementation of Vero cells. This vaccine was manufactured using a derived platform technology under an immense containment facility.
The reason behind choosing an inactive form of the virus for preparing Covaxin is that inactive virus is incapable of replicating and hence are unlikely to revert while causing pathological effects. This vaccine consists of dead viruses incapable of causing infection among people and, at the same time, possesses the capability of directing the immune system to mount a defensive reaction that can fight infection.
Covaxin Effectiveness in fighting with Covid-19
Covaxin, the inactivated vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech, has shown promising results in its effectiveness in fighting COVID-19. The vaccine has undergone clinical trials in India, showing an efficacy rate of 81% in preventing symptomatic COVID-19. The trials have also shown that Covaxin is effective against circulating virus variants, including the Delta variant. However, further studies are needed to determine the duration of protection provided by the vaccine and its effectiveness against emerging variants. Despite this, Covaxin has been granted emergency use authorization in India and is being used as part of India’s vaccination drive against COVID-19.
The safety of Covaxin has been the subject of extensive study and evaluation. The vaccine has undergone three phases of clinical trials in India, demonstrating its safety and efficacy in preventing symptomatic COVID-19. The trials have shown that Covaxin is generally well-tolerated. The most common side effects are mild to moderate in severity, such as pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue, and fever. The vaccine has also been shown to be effective against the currently circulating variants of the virus, including the Delta variant.
The reason behind developing an inactivated vaccine
Inactivated forms of vaccines have been used for decades, and many inactivated vaccines are used for treating viruses such as seasonal influenza, rabies, polio, Japanese Encephalitis, pertussis, and others. All the vaccines are known to utilize the same technology of developing vaccines in the inactivated form, having a safe track record of more than 300 million doses to different suppliers worldwide to date. Hence, the authentication of Covaxin, being an inactivated vaccine, has been tested over time and is reliable in the world of the technology of vaccines.
Key features of Covaxin
Some outstanding features of this vaccine make it embraced by people in India and abroad.
- Covaxin is included with some immune potentiators, known as adjuvants of the vaccine. These substances are added to the vaccine to increase and boost immunogenicity.
- The course of this vaccine is a 2-day regime that is given 28 days apart.
- This vaccine comes with an attribute of sub-zero storage and “no-constitution requirement”.
- Covaxin comes in the form of liquid presentations that are ready to use and are available in multi-dose vials that are stable at 2-8 degree Celsius.
- In conducting pre-clinical studies, it has been found that this vaccine demonstrated potential immunogenicity and protective efficacy in the case of animal challenge studies conducted for hamsters and non-human primates.
- The first trial of this vaccine was conducted in May 2020. Covaxin was given DCGI approval for the clinical trials of phases 2 and 3 in July 2020.
- In the phase 1 study, there were a total of 375 participants which led to the generation of safety data that was excellent without any kind of reactogenicity. There was the observation of vaccine-induced neutralizing titers of antibodies having two divergent strains.
- In the second trial, there were 380 participants between the age group of 12-65, and tolerable safety outcomes were obtained along with enhanced humoral and cell-mediated immune responses.
- In the third trial, Covaxin established its position firmly regarding its efficacy, with 25798 participants. The vaccine was 64% effective against asymptomatic cases and 78% effective against symptomatic cases. There was also an established effectiveness of 65% of the vaccine against Delta variants.
- From safety analysis, it has been demonstrated that there were reports of adverse incidents similar to placebo, and 12% of subjects experienced common and known side effects. Less than 0.5% of people reported having faced adverse incidents.
How to enrol for obtaining Covaxin?
One can easily enrol oneself for obtaining Covaxin through the Cowin vaccinator app login. This application will help you register in the Cowin app for slot booking of the vaccine. One shall also be able to download certificates of vaccination from the same. A document the person enrolling shall be able to produce authentic identification details on the app.
Covaxin is one of the potential immunization vaccines against Covid-19, which can protect people against infection. The government of India has put in a lot of effort to make this a success for the welfare of the people. Through the Eka Care app, people will be adequately assisted in booking their slots for vaccination.