All the facts about Covaxin vaccine

The DCGI’s expert panel has approved an Emergency Use Covaxin COVID-19 Vaccine, for active immunization to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 18 years of age and older in India.

Recently in 2020 the entire world was locked down because of the largest ever pandemic of Covid-19. No other pandemic was so severe in the past to cause such a stringent lockdown affecting the lives of billions of people across the world.

Everyone was waiting for the effective vaccine for the Covid-19 and some companies are successful in finding out the solution.

The vaccination with Covaxin COVID-19 Vaccine has already begun in India and some other countries are in process to do so.

Covaxin is an inactivated virus vaccine containing inactivated Covid-19 vaccine.

ManufacturerBharat Biotech pvt Ltd
TypeInactivated virus vaccine
Available asOnly designated centres asSingle dose 0.5 ml vial10 dose 5 ml vial20 dose 10 ml vial
Stored at2-8 degree C
Given as Intramuscular injection
Doses2 doses with minimal interval of 4-6 weeks
Given in age groupAbove 18 years old
Duration of protection offeredYet unknown
ApprovalDCGI for emergency use
WHO approvalYet pending

How is the Covaxin COVID-19 Vaccine available?

Each dose of this vaccine is 0.5 ml. 

So vials are available in different numbers of doses either single dose 0.5 ml vial or multidose vial.

Single dose 0.5 ml vial.

10 dose 5 ml vial.

20 dose 10 ml vial.

How is the Covaxin COVID-19 Vaccine vaccine stored?

For storage of this vaccine the guidelines provided by manufacturers are to be followed strictly. Not following the temperature and storage guidelines will damage the vaccine and it will be ineffective.

Manufacturer recommends a storage temperature of 2-8 degree celsius. This temperature range should be maintained at all levels from manufacturer to end user. Vaccines should not be frozen accidentally.

Local biomedical waste management protocols are to be followed to discard the vaccine or the disposables so that they do not pollute the environment.

How is the Covaxin COVID-19 Vaccine given?

Currently this vaccine is available only in govt set up and it is given as per the priority decided by the government.

Currently healthcare workers and covid warriors are on priority and those registered on Cowin app are getting appointments for the vaccination. They need to reach the designated center with necessary documents.

All the people above age 18 can get this vaccine at designated centres.

This vaccine is given an intramuscular injection 0.5 ml dose. 2 doses are needed 4-6 weeks apart for a single person.

All safety injection precautions are taken while giving this vaccine.

At what age is the Covaxin COVID-19 Vaccine given?

Currently this vaccine is approved for use by DCGI for those above 18 years of age.

Use in children

Currently this vaccine has not been approved for use in children below 18 years of age. 

Use in pregnancy

Currently there is insufficient data to examine this vaccine for safe use in pregnancy. Administration of Covaxi in pregnancy should only be considered when the potential benefits outweigh any potential risks for the mother and fetus.


Currently there is no insufficient data to say whether this vaccine is safe or unsafe in lactating women and their infants.


Current data from clinical studies does not indicate any adverse effect on fertility of the vaccine recipients.

Old age

Clinical studies had participants of age above 65 years of age. The data from clinical studies indicate that this vaccine is safe and effective for those above 65 years of age.

What are side effects after Covaxin COVID-19 Vaccine?

In clinical trials the noted side effects are usually mild and they are listed as follows:

  • Redness and swelling: It may appear at the injection site within a few minutes to few hours of injection. Usually subsides of its own.
  • Pain at injection site: This is another side effect after taking this vaccine. Generally mild to moderate grade pain may occur at the injection site.
  • Fever: Generally this vaccine in few patients can cause fever. Fever is usually mild to moderate grade. It may subside by its own or may be reduced with oral treatment like paracetamol. Usually they do not need admission for the management can be managed at home.
  • Fatigue: In some patients this vaccine may cause fatigue and generally reduces on its own.
  • Headache: In some patients it may cause a headache that can be mild to  moderate grade. In very few patients it causes a very severe headache.
  • Nausea and vomiting is a known side effect of the vaccine.
  • Other mild side effects are chills, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Muscle pain and joint pain
  • Serious adverse events were reported by very few Covaxin COVID-19 Vaccine recipients.
  • Like other vaccines this vaccine can cause anaphylactic reaction which may be life threatening but chances of such severe reaction are rare.

How does the Covaxin COVID-19 Vaccine work?

Covaxin vaccine contains inactivated Covid-19 virus. It is given by injection intramuscularly.

When this injection is given your immunity identifies the antigens on it and develops immunity against it. When the real infection occurs it can fight vigorously as it is now trained to do so.

This is a method of active immunization.

To whom Covaxin COVID-19 Vaccine should not be given?

If a patient is allergic to any of its components or has got anaphylactic allergic reaction at the time of the first dose.

Special precautions are needed in following groups

Special precaution is needed in following groups:

  • As with all injectable vaccines, appropriate medical treatment and supervision should always be readily available in case of an anaphylactic event following the administration of the vaccine.  
  • As with other vaccines, administration of Covaxin should be postponed in individuals suffering from an acute severe febrile illness. However, the presence of a minor infection, such as cold, and/or low-grade fever should not delay vaccination.
  • As with other intramuscular injections, Covaxin should be given with caution to individuals with thrombocytopenia, any coagulation disorder or to persons on anticoagulation therapy, because bleeding or bruising may occur following an intramuscular administration in these individuals.
  • It is not known whether individuals with impaired immune responsiveness, including individuals receiving immunosuppressant therapy, will elicit the same response as immunocompetent individuals to the vaccine regimen. Immunocompromised individuals may have relatively weaker immune responses to the vaccine regimen.
  • The duration of protection has not yet been established.

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