New Delhi: The Niti Aayog member (Health) Dr VK Paul on Thursday (May 13, 2021) outlined the central government’s plan which involved a total of eight COVID-19 vaccines that will help India inoculate all its citizens by the end of 2021.
The Centre has decided to speed up the vaccine manufacturing and has issued emergency use authorisation to Biological E, Zydus Cadila, Serum Institute of India for Novavax, Bharat Biotech’s nasal vaccine, Gennova and Sputnik V.
But for the time being, there will be three options available for the Indian citizens from the upcoming week. These options include Russia’s Sputnik V, Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine- Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
A medical journal, The BMJ, said that this Russian vaccine Sputnik V, which is also known as Gam-Covid-Vac, is a combination of two different adenoviruses (Ad26 and Ad5), which are the viruses that cause common cold. These adenoviruses are combined with SARS-CoV-2 for the treatment, which prompts the body to make an immune response to it, the journal added.
Additionally, Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine shares its name with the world’s first artificial satellite made by Russia.
Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, also known as Covishield, is also made on the same philosophy.
A BBC report said, “it is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) from chimpanzees. It has been modified to look more like coronavirus - although it can’t cause illness.”
India-based Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine, which is reportedly made up of killed coronaviruses.
According to the BBC report, “Bharat Biotech used a sample of the coronavirus, isolated by India’s National Institute of Virology. When administered, immune cells can still recognise the dead virus, prompting the immune system to make antibodies against the pandemic virus.”