MUMBAI: If it takes around four minutes to check the documents and administer the Covishield vaccine, it takes double the time for the Covaxin vaccine.
The time associated with Covaxin vaccine is longer because the recipient, unlike the takers of the Covishield vaccine, has to sign a consent form as per the requirement of its Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) clearance. “Also, readings of the recipient’s blood pressure, temperature and oxygen saturation have to be taken,” said Dr Ranjit Mankeshwar, acting dean of state-run JJ Hospital, Byculla. JJ Hospital is one of the six centres where the Covaxin is available.
The recipient of the Covaxin vaccine is also asked a series of questions, such as contact with people who travelled. “A three-page document is given to the recipient in which they has to select an option if they develop any symptoms over the next seven days,” said a doctor. The document has to be later handed over to the vaccinators.
Recipients for the Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine, on the other hand, are not asked any questions. Only their identity proof is verified. Many doctors, however, advise people to consult their family physician for a thorough evaluation of any possible allergic reaction.
All vaccine recipients have to wait for 30 minutes after the vaccination for observation.
Dr S Nikam, the civil surgeon at Amravati district hospital, said that it takes a minimum of 40 minutes — including 10 minutes for the pre-vaccine work and the vaccine — for each recipient getting the Covaxin.
Covishield and Covaxin are different types of vaccines. While Covaxin is made from an inactivated or dead virus, Covishield uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector that is a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus). “Covaxin is safe because it is based on an inactivated virus and has very low to zero side-effects,” said state department of medical education’s chief Dr T P Lahane.