Covishield vs Covaxin-which is better? A detailed factual comparison.

The COVID-19 vaccination drive has already begun in India, and several people are still unaware of how the two vaccines, Covaxin and Covishield are different.

The next stage started on April 1, in which individuals over the age of 18 can take life-saving shots.

Right now, the government has not allowed people to settle on which vaccine they wish to get, but the consequence of the first phase obviously indicates that both the vaccines being inoculated in India are safe and effective.

The differences between Covishield and Covaxin

Type of VaccineRecombinant vaccine based on Viral Vector TechnologyWhole-Virion     Inactivated   Corona Virus Vaccine
No. of doses in each vial10  20
Shelf life6 months6 months
Expiry date available on vialYes  Yes
Vaccine Vial Monitor (VVM)Not Available  Not Available
RouteIntramuscular (IM) Injectable  Intramuscular (IM) Injectable  
Physical Appearance of VaccineClear to slightly brown  Whitish translucent  
Dose0.5 ml each  0.5 ml each dose
Coursedose 2-doses  2-doses  
Schedule12-16weeks apart4-6 weeks apart  
Vaccination during PregnancyNot recommendedNot recommended
Vaccination >18 years of ageRecommended  Recommended
Paediatric age group and <18 years of ageNot recommendedNot recommended 
Vaccination to Lactating motherRecommended  Not recommended
Storage and transportation+2 C to +80℃ at all levels  +2 C to +8℃ at all levels  
Cold chain storage space in secondary packaging2.109 cm31.7187 cm3  
Shake testNot applicable  Not applicable  
Open Vial PolicyNot applicable (Discard after 4 hours of opening)  Not applicable (Discard after 4 hours of opening)  
Freeze Sensitive  Yes  Yes  
Discard the vaccine vial, if found‘frozen’ or ‘frozen and thawed’    ‘frozen’ or ‘frozen and thawed’    
Discard the vial, ifSolution is discolored or visible particles are observed  Presence of particulate matter or other coloration  
AEFISome mild AEFI may occur like injection site tenderness, injection site pain, headache, fatigue, myalgia, malaise, pyrexia, chills and arthralgia, nausea  Some mild AEFIs may occur like injection site pain, headache, fatigue, fever, body ache, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, dizziness-giddiness, tremor, sweating, cold, cough and injection site swelling  
AEFI OtherParacetamol way be used to provide symptomatic relief from post— vaccination adverse reactions Very rare events of demyelinating disorders have been reported following vaccination with this Vaccine without the causal relationship establishment As with other intramuscular injections, COVISHIELD should be given with caution to individuals with thrombocytopenia 
Any other instruction Shake well, before use Use of Chloroquine and Corticosteroids may impair antibody response.  
Official website for registrationCOWINCOWIN

Covaxin vs Covishield — Which is better?

Well, we’ve compiled all the information to provide you with a better knowledge of the formula and every other detail concerning the vaccine you’re likely to get to stay secure from the Coronavirus. Have a look:

Type of Vaccines:

Covaxin vaccine is an inactivated viral vaccine. This vaccine is manufactured by the Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell-derived technology. They contain inactivated viruses, which could not infect an individual but still can teach the immune system to prepare a defense mechanism against the active virus.

Covishield vaccines are prepared by using adenovirus as a vector, and hence it is called Viral vector technology, which is totally different from others.

A chimpanzee adenovirus — ChAdOx1 — was altered to help it carry the COVID-19 spike protein into the cells of people. This cold virus is basically incapable of infecting the recipient but can very well teach the immune system to prepare a mechanism against such viruses.

The exact technology has been used to prepare vaccines for viruses like Ebola.

There’s no difference between the two vaccines in terms of dosage. Both Covishield and Ebola vaccines are administered as 0.5ml in the upper arm region.

But, the dosing interval for both Covaxin and Covishield, however, varies. The second dose of Covaxin is scheduled following 4-6 months after the first dose, while for Covishield vaccines, it’s 84 times or 12-16 weeks after the initial dose.

Storage Guidelines

Both Covishield and Covaxin, to be stored at 2-8° Centigrade, which is a normal temperature of the refrigerator. This leaves both the vaccines best suited for Indian conditions as the majority of the vaccines here are retained at the same temperature range.

This also makes the storage and transportation of the two vaccines easier.

The two vaccines have demonstrated more than satisfactory results since the inoculation began in India.

Side effects

After getting the vaccine, from few hours to few days, you may experience pain at the site of injection. Some people can also experience side effects such as headache, joint pain and may feel feverish. These side effects do not last for long and generally go within a day or 2.

Covaxin has started its clinical trial in children aged over two years old.

On the other hand, the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) has not given an industry use authorization clearance to some of the vaccines till now.

Mode of government

The two Covaxin and Covishield are vaccines, are approved by Government of India for emergency use.

Age of beneficiaries

Both Covishield and Covaxin vaccines have been given emergency authorization for administration of vaccines in those individuals whose age is18 years and above; however, there is still no guidelines for Covid vaccination in children and pregnant women.

Dose schedule:

For Covishield, period between 1st and 2nd doses is 12-16 weeks while for Covaxin period between the two doses is 4-6 weeks.



The data provided by serum institute of India, shows that Covishield vaccine is protective against the B 1.1.7 (UK variant), B.1.167.1 and P.1 (Brazil variant). And also, very less efficacy seen against the B.1.351 (South Africa). However, it has prevented from progressing to severe disease. (Source)

ICMR has done a study and depicted that Covishield works against Delta variant. (Source)


Covaxin vaccine has shown effectiveness against variants: Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta(B.1.351) and Delta (B.1.617.2) variant.


For both the vaccine, people above 18 years old may opt for the vaccines.

The most recent updates about the COVID vaccine

257 million doses of this COVID vaccine are awarded in India. More than 47 million individuals have received 2 doses of the vaccine and therefore are considered fully vaccinated.

Top health officials in India have said both Covaxin and Covishield are powerful against the mutated UK/South Africa/Brazil virus.

Recently, Russian vaccine – the Sputnik V vaccine has taken approval for emergency use in India. Some studies are saying there are no strong allergies seen by the Sputnik V vaccine.

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for informative purposes only and isn’t intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare practitioner. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their doctor to determine the appropriateness of the advice to your reader’s situation.