Indian vaccine Covishield: what Stepanov is bringing to Ukraine. Photo: pixabay
The Minister of Health Maksym Stepanov has agreed to supply the Indian vaccine Covishield that is produced by the Serum Institute in India. The vaccine is an analogue of the medication AstraZeneca and is manufactured under its license.
The Minister assured that he personally supervised the shipment of the first batch of the Indian analogue of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Moreover, Serum Institute will additionally supply 5 million doses of Novavax coronavirus vaccine to Ukraine. In general, Ukraine expects the Novavax vaccine in the amount of 15 million doses. The first deliveries are scheduled for July 2021.
What is known about Covishield
Covishield is the name of the Astra Zeneca vaccine produced by Serum Institute, India's largest vaccine manufacturer. The Institute produces over 50 million doses of various medications per month.
The Covishield vaccine is made from an attenuated version of the virus, the chimpanzee adenovirus. Scientists have modified it to be similar to coronavirus. It is worth noting that such a vaccine cannot cause covid.
Covishield initiates the immune system to produce antibodies and prepares the body to attack any of the coronavirus infections.
Vaccination consists of two vaccines, inoculations are made at intervals of 4 to 12 weeks. The medication can be stored at temperatures between 2°C and 8°C. The cost of one dose is $3.
Covishield vaccine efficacy
International clinical trials of the Astra Zeneca vaccine have shown that when given half the dose and then vaccinated with the full dose, the efficacy reaches 90%.
However, unpublished evidence suggests that the length of time between the first and second vaccinations affects the vaccine efficacy. So, in the group where the interval between vaccinations was longer, the efficacy after the first dose reaches 70%.
Covishield vaccine side effects
The most common possible side effects of the vaccine are: pain, redness, itching, swelling, bruising at the injection site, fatigue, chills or fever, headache, nausea, or joint or muscle pain. In particular, the vaccine can cause breathing difficulties.
In addition, vomiting and diarrhea are recorded. Decreased appetite, dizziness, sweating, abdominal pain, and rash were also recorded in minimal amounts.
Context. At the end of January, Stepanov said that vaccination against coronavirus in Ukraine would begin approximately on February 15. However, nothing happened on the appointed day, since the vaccine did not arrive in the country. Stepanov later explained why this had happened.
People's Deputy from Servant of the People Iryna Vereshchuk said that Stepanov could be dismissed if vaccination does not begin in Ukraine by the end of February.
In early February, NABU started an investigation against the Head of the Ministry of Health due to possible fraud with the purchase of vaccines. The fact is that the Ministry of Health wants to purchase the Sinovac vaccine through a private company at a price of $17.85 per dose, although the State Enterprise Medzakupki was negotiating its purchase at a price of $3.
Stepanov stated that NABU's investigation into the purchase of vaccines against coronavirus will negatively affect negotiations with medication manufacturers.