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COVID-19 Vaccines in India: What You Need to Know

  • January 15,2021
  • 5 Min Read
COVID-19 Vaccines in India: What You Need to Know

    COVID-19 Vaccines in India 

                        Ready Reckoner



COVISHIELD (AstraZeneca) 

COVAXIN (Bharat Biotech/ICMR) 

Official Name

ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 a.k.a AZ1222 (known as COVISHIELD in India) 


Covaxin (also known as BBV152 A, B, C) 


Oral consent required 

Written consent required (Vaccine has completed Phase 1 & 2 successfully, with Phase 3 trials ongoing. Permission has been given for emergency use in "clinical trail mode") 

Authorized age group

>18 years 

≥18 years Only individuals prioritized under public health program of MoHFW) 

Vaccination during pregnancy, lactating mothers & <18 years

Not recommended 

Not recommended 

Type of vaccine 

Non-Replicating Viral Vector Vaccine (DNA sequence for coronavirus spike protein delivered via chimpanzee adenovirus viral vector) 

Whole virus vaccine (Inactivated virus) 


62 - 90%, depending on dosage 


Number of doses per vial 



Shelf life 

6 months 

6 months 

Route of administration


Intramuscular (IM) 

Intramuscular (IM) 



0.5 ml 

0.5 ml 

Course schedule


2 doses 4 weeks apart 

2 doses 4 weeks apart 



2 -8°C 

2 - 8 °C 

Adverse effects 

Injection site pain and tenderness, headache, fatigue, myalgia, malaise, pyrexia, chills, arthralgia and nausea. Demyelinating disorders have been reported very rarely, but no causal relationship with the vaccine has been identified. 

Injection site pain/swelling/redness/ itching, upper arm stiffness, weakness in the injection arm, myalgia, headache, fever, malaise, weakness, rashes, nausea, vomiting. 



Use of chloroquine and corticosteroids may impair antibody response


  • History of anaphylactic or allergic reaction to a previous dose of COVID-19 vaccine;
  • Immediate or delayed onset anaphylaxis or allergic reaction to other vaccines, injectable therapies, pharmaceutical products, food items etc.
  • Pregnant and lactating women 
  • History of allergies
  • Fever at time of vaccination
  • Bleeding disorder or are on blood thinner medications
  • Immunocompromised or on medication that affects immune system
  • Pregnant and lactating women
  • Have received another COVID-19 vaccine
  • Any other serious health-related issues, as determined by the vaccinator/officer supervising vaccination 

Can another vaccine (COVID-19 or otherwise) be administered after taking this one? 

If required, alternative COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines can be given 2 weeks after administering the complete schedule. 

There is no scientific information yet available on the appropriateness of use of the Covaxin along with other vaccines. 

Interchangeability of vaccine doses 

Not permitted. 20 dose should be of the same vaccine as the 1st dose. 

*People with history of COVID.19 infection, with comorbidities CAN take the vaccine. There is currently no contraindication for immunocompromised people with the COVISHIELD vaccine. 


  1. Letter from Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare - Contraindications and Factsheet for COVID-19 vaccines; 14th Jan 2021
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker.html (accessed 16th Jan 2021)
  3. Factsheet for Vaccine Recipients and Caregivers - Bharat Biotech (accessed 19th Jan 2021)


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