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Covishield or Covaxin: Which is the Better Covid-19 Vaccine?

The doctors believe that getting the Covid vaccine may not be enough in avoiding infection, but it can certainly contain the severity of the condition. In India, the two most popular options for COVID-19 vaccines are—Covaxin and Covishield.

  • 19 Nov 2021
  • min read

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live. The new normal includes wearing masks, sanitisers, social distancing, restricted movement, work from home, online shopping and more. Another important aspect of this new normal is getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and get covered with good health insurance. While doctors believe that getting the covid vaccine may not be enough in avoiding infection, but it can certainly contain the severity of the condition. In India, the two most popular options for COVID-19 vaccines are—Covaxin and Covishield. Are you finding it difficult to choose one?


Made by Bharat Biotech, a Hyderabad-based biotechnology company, Covaxin is the first Indian vaccine against the COVID-19 causing coronavirus. It is made from an inactivated virus; the virus was killed before incorporating it into the vaccine. When introduced to a healthy human body, the inactivated virus triggers an immune response, developing antibodies to fight it. These antibodies prove useful in preventing a severe case of COVID-19 when the person is exposed to live coronavirus. The vaccine, stored between 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, is taken in two doses with a gap of four to six weeks between the two shots.

The common side effects of Covaxin include fever, nausea, headache, pain and swelling at the site of injection, muscle ache and even fatigue in some cases.


Covishield was developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and its Indian variant is manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune. While Covaxin is made using an inactivated coronavirus, Covishield is made from a viral vector obtained from a different virus usually found in Chimpanzees. The viral vector is modified to imitate the novel coronavirus. Covishield can be stored for up to six months at a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. This too is taken in two doses at a gap of 6 to 8 weeks. Moreover, Covishield is claimed to develop more antibodies in the human body, thus needing a longer time gap between the two shots.

Covishield’s side effects are more or less the same as Covaxin and include pain and tenderness at the injection site, fever, nausea and weakness.

Also read:

Covaxin vs. Covishield

Although many other brands of covid vaccination such as Russia’s Sputnik V, America’s Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are making inroads into the Indian market, Covaxin and Covidshield remain the most popular and readily available options. If you are wondering which of the two is more potent against the coronavirus, then the answer is both are equally good. 

Both Covishield and Covaxin have good efficacy data against the SarsCov-2 and other variants such as Delta Plus, which was first detected in India. But there’s a catch.

While Covaxin and Covishield are considered safe and effective in India, can you travel internationally after taking one of the two vaccines? The comparison becomes even more important when one has to travel outside of India. The World Health Organization (WHO) is yet to approve Covaxin; India has allowed it for restricted use in an emergency. Meanwhile, EU nations are recognizing the Indian version of the Covishield vaccine only now for the travel green pass. It means you can travel only to nations where the Covishield vaccine has been declared fit by international standards.

Both Bharat Biotech and SII are rooting to produce more of their respective vaccines while aiming for a better rate of efficacy.

Therefore, there is not much difference between Covaxin and Covishield. What matters is to be vaccinated at the earliest and be prepared to fight the coronavirus as and when you get exposed to it. Being vaccinated does not mean absolute freedom to defy COVID-19 precautions and protocols. It is only an added safety measure to be followed along with all other precautions.

ICICI Lombard provides health insurance plans like Family Health Insurance, Personal Accident Insurance, Health Booster, Saral Suraksha Bima, Arogya Sanjeevani Policy, Corona Kavach Policy which offers people with the much needed financial backup during any medical emergencies including Covid-19.

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