CoviShield COVID-19 Vaccine Description
The CoviShield COVID-19 (AZD1222) (C19VAZ) vaccine, formerly known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is made from a virus (ChAdOx1), a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus). Genetic material has been added to the ChAdOx1 construct, which is used to make proteins from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus called Spike glycoprotein (S).
Drug regulators in India granted emergency approval for the coronavirus vaccine co-developed by AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford on January 1, 2021.
On April 23, 2021, the based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology announced CoviShield may protect people from various SARS-CoV-2 mutations.
CoviShield is the Serum Institute of India version of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. SII's updated fact sheet for CoviShield.
Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. is now the world's largest vaccine manufacturer by the number of doses produced and sold globally (more than 1.5 billion doses). The Poonawalla Bio-Tech Park at Manjari in Pune is a State-of-the-Art facility is designed to meet the highest standards set by a plethora of regulatory agencies, including the MHRA, U.S. FDA, and those of Europe, Japan, Australia, etc.
CoviShield COVID-19 Vaccine History
The WHO granted Emergency Use Listing to the AstraZeneca - Oxford COVID-19 vaccine 'COVISHIELD' ChAdOx1-S [recombinant] manufactured by Serum Institute of India on February 15, 2021. Click here to review the history of SII's CoviShield vaccine.
On April 20, 2021, the Canadian government published a FAQ for CoviShield.
On April 24, 2021, India's Union Health Secretary Shri Rajesh Bhushan and Dr. R S Sharma, Chairman, Empowered Group on Technology and Data Management to combat COVID-19, chaired a high-level meeting to guide the States/UTs on effective implementation of the New Vaccination Strategy (Phase-3) on May 1, 2021, and to review their augmentation plans to strengthen the existing hospital and clinical treatment infrastructure for COVID patients.
CoviShield COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects
A very rare new type of adverse event called Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome, involving unusual and severe blood clotting events associated with low platelet counts, has been reported after vaccination with COVID-19 Vaccines Vaxzevria and Covishield, reported the WHO on April 16, 2021.
Covishield side effect information can be found here.
CoviShield COVID-19 Vaccine Ingredients
CoviShield ingredients can be found on this University of Oxford website.
CoviShield COVID-19 Vaccine News
May 12, 2021 - India's Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation confirmed it would continue to vaccinate the younger age group with Covishield vaccine.
May 3, 2021 - “Had an excellent meeting with all our partners and stakeholders in the UK. Meanwhile, pleased to state that Covishield’s production is in full swing in Pune. I look forward to reviewing operations upon my return in a few days,” CEO Adar Poonawalla wrote on Twitter. The company expects to increase its monthly production from about 65 million to about 100 million by June 2021.
May 3, 2021 - India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare confirmed' that 100% advance of Rs. 1732.50 cr (after TDS Rs. 1699.50 cr) was released to Serum Institute of India (SII) on 28.04.2021 for 11 crore doses of Covishield vaccine during May, June, and July and was received by them on 28.04.2021. As of date, against the last order of 10 crore doses for supplies of Covishield vaccine, 8.744 crore doses have been delivered till 03.05.2021. Under the Liberalised Pricing & Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, Govt of India would continue to procure its share of 50% of the monthly Central Drugs Laboratory cleared vaccines & would continue to make it available to the State Govts totally free of cost as was being done earlier.'
April 24, 2021 - The Serum Institute of India issued a statement defending the previously announced pricing of the CovidShield COVID-19 vaccine at Rs 600 for private hospitals and Rs 400 for the government.
April 21, 2021 - The Serum Institute of India (SII) confirmed it 'welcomes the recent announcement made by the Government of India’s Ministry of Health and Finance Ministry to accelerate India’s vaccination drive. The promising directives will help to scale up vaccine production and allow state governments, private hospitals, and vaccination centers to procure vaccines directly. In the future, 50% of our vaccine production capacities will be served to the Government of India's vaccination program, and the remaining 50% of the capacity will be for the State governments and private hospitals. Following the Government of India directives, SII announced the prices of the vaccine.
April 19, 2021 - Local media reported of a total of about 144 million doses that India has supplied to states and Union territories till April 18, 2021, nearly 127 million were Covishield doses, and 17 million doses were of the Covaxin vaccine, according to government data accessed by HT till late on Sunday.
April 16, 2021 - The WHO published a statement: 'Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety review of the latest evidence of rare adverse blood coagulation events with AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine (Vaxzevria and Covishield).' Based on the latest available data, the risk of TTS with Vaxzevria and Covishield vaccines appears to be very low. There may be a geographic variation in the risk of these rare adverse events. It is therefore important to evaluate potential cases of TTS in all countries. Countries are encouraged to review, report and investigate all cases of TTS following COVID-19 vaccinations.
April 14, 2021 - Health Canada announced 'AstraZeneca COVID‐19 Vaccine (manufactured by AstraZeneca) and COVISHIELD (manufactured by Serum Institute of India) are ChAdOx1-S recombinant vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. Health Canada has reviewed the manufacturing information for these vaccines and found them to be comparable.'
April 14, 2021 - The BBC published an article: Sputnik V, Covishield, Covaxin: What we know about India's Covid-19 vaccines.
April 13, 2021 - A non-peer-reviewed study assessed the humoral immune response after the first dose of two vaccines, Covishield and the BBV-152 (Covaxin), in healthcare workers. These researchers concluded 'While both vaccines elicited immune response, seropositivity rates to anti-spike antibody were significantly higher in Covishield recipient compared to Covaxin after the first dose. The ongoing COVAT study will further enlighten the immune response between two vaccines after the second dose.'
April 1, 2021 - The Serum Institute of India is reported to increase its output of CoviShield vaccines by 67% to 100 million doses a month beginning May 2021, up from 60 million doses a month currently.
The Drug Controller General of India has allowed the CoviShield - AstraZeneca vaccine's expiration time period from the earlier prescribed to nine months on March 31, 2021.
On March 13, 2021, AFP reported, '"We are looking at all the adverse events, severe adverse events like deaths and hospitalization. We will come back if we find anything of concern," said N.K. Arora, a member of India's national task force on COVID-19.' Serum Institute of India joined with AstraZeneca to produce 1 billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.
The India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced on March 22, 2021, 'In view of the emerging scientific evidence, the interval between two doses of COVISHIELD, has been revisited by National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization and subsequently by National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 in its 20th meeting. During this meeting, the recommendation has been revised to provide a 2nd dose of COVISHIELD at 4-8 weeks’ interval after the 1st dose, instead of an earlier practiced interval of 4-6 weeks.'
March 1, 2021 - The governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana began COVID-19 vaccination campaigns to protect healthcare workers.
On February 1, 2021, Pakistan's Dr. Faisal Sultan said to local media: “Though AstraZeneca's CoviShield is being prepared in India, it will come through Covax, an international alliance that has announced free vaccines for 20% of Pakistan’s population. The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan has already registered AstraZeneca."
To enable and support the country’s response in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, South Africa's SAHPRA had, on January 22, 2021, granted a Section 21 authorization to the Department of Health for COVISHIELD (a covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India) for the prevention of COVID-19.
On January 19, 2021, India announced it granted assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, and Seychelles by distributing CoviShield vaccines beginning January 20, 2021. In Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Mauritius, India is awaiting regulatory clearances.
CoviShield COVID-19 Vaccine Storage Requirements
The vaccine can be stored, transported, and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (2-8 degrees Celsius/ 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least 6-months and administered within existing healthcare settings.