News: The subject expert committee of Central Drugs Standard Control Organization(CDSCO) has recommended COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield for emergency use authorisation.
- COVISHIELD: The Oxford vaccine “AZD1222” is being called Covishield in India. Serum Institute of India(SII) has entered into a manufacturing partnership with Oxford University and Pharma major AstraZeneca to produce this vaccine in India.
- Technology: Covishield is made of a weakened and modified version of adenovirus (a common cold virus) that causes infections in chimpanzees and contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein. After vaccination, the surface spike protein is produced, priming the immune system to attack the SARS-CoV-2 virus if it later infects the body.
- Efficacy: Researchers claimed the vaccine protected against Covid in 62% of those given two full doses and in 90% of those initially given a half dose.
- Safety: The Lancet publication, a leading medical journal has confirmed that the vaccine was well-tolerated and there were no serious safety events confirmed related to the vaccine.
- Storage: The vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (2°C to 8°C) for at least six months.