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Covaxin vs Covishield vs Sputnik V vs Pfizer: Which Covid-19 Vaccines Better

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Last Updated On :
  • 13/02/2024

The coronavirus has affected the world and the lives of individuals in many ways. To curb the spread of the virus, governments around the world have developed different vaccines. This includes India with their Covaxin developed in association with Bharat Biotech.

The government of India has also organised a vaccination drive to protect citizens against the deadly virus. However, with so many options available, people often wonder which vaccine is better – Sputnik, Covaxin, Covishield or Pfizer.

In this blog, we will go into detail about Covishield vs Sputnik vs Covaxin vs Pfizer based on their dosage, efficacy, potential side effects and more.

Comparison Between Sputnik vs Covaxin vs Covishield vs Pfizer

Refer to the table below to understand the comparison between Covishield vs Sputnik and Covaxin vs Pfizer.

Vaccination Name Company Type of Vaccine Dosage Storage  Price
Covaxin ICMR and Bharat Biotech Inactivated Virus 2 Injections 2 to 8 °C Free for Citizens in Government Hospitals ₹250 in private Hospitals.
Covishield Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd and AstraZeneca Viral Vector 2 Injections 2 to 8 °C Free for Citizens in Government Hospitals ₹250 in private Hospitals.
Sputnik V Gamaleya Research Institute Viral Vector 2 Injections Dry - 2 to 8 °C Liquid - 18.55 °C ₹750
Pfizer–BioNTech BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA 2 Injections -80°C to -60°C 2 to 8 °C for 5 days N/A

Covaxin vs Covishield vs Sputnik vs Pfizer: Which is Better?

While more than 100 million people in India have already received both doses of either Covishield or Covaxin, those who are yet to be vaccinated are pondering over which COVID vaccine is the best in India or which COVID vaccine is better for them. And now, with Sputnik V in the country, let’s get a better understanding of the Covaxin vs Covishield vs Sputnik efficacy rate so that you can choose one that suits you the best.


Covishield, developed jointly by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, has been produced at the Serum Institute of India in Pune and is now priced at 300 for State Governments. Here is what you should know about the vaccine, which was the first one in India.

How does Covishield work?

The formula for Covishield uses a weakened version of adenovirus, which is a common cold virus taken from chimpanzees. However, since the virus is modified, it cannot cause any illnesses. Once the weakened virus is injected into the human bloodstream, our immune system begins producing antibodies to combat the live virus.

Is Covishield effective?

The vaccine initially showed an efficacy rate of 70% during the phase 3 trials in December 2020. The results are as per clinical trials conducted on 11363 volunteers across Brazil and the United Kingdom. However, it has been seen that after the first and second doses of Covishield, the efficacy rate was 90%.

Covishield: Dosage and Side Effects

The two doses of Covishield are administered with a gap of 4-12 weeks, and the vaccine should be stored at a temperature of 2-8 degrees Celsius. There are some minor side effects of the vaccine, and the common ones affect 1 out of 10 people. They are warmth, pain, tenderness, bruises and itching on the injection site. At the same time, the other symptoms can be a headache, joint pain, headache, muscle ache, a general feeling of sickness, chills, a feverish feeling or nausea.

Less than 1 out of 100 people may also experience enlarged lymph nodes, dizziness, abdominal pain, low appetite, rash and sweating. However, after the vaccination, consuming paracetamol can help reduce the symptoms.


Covaxin, developed jointly by Bharat Biotech, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology, received approval in January 2021 for emergency use. Read on to know how this vaccine works.

How does Covaxin work?

A sample of the COVID-19 virus was isolated by the National Institute of Virology, which helped Bharat Biotech create the vaccine with inactivated coronavirus. Once injected into the bloodstream, the immune system produces antibodies against the COVID-19 virus, also known as SARS-CoV-2. According to the company, the vaccine is further boosted with the use of vaccine adjuvants, which are immune potentiators.

Is Covaxin effective?

The vaccine is said to have an efficacy rate of 81%, according to an interim analysis conducted by Bharat Biotech on the Phase 3 trial results.

Covaxin: Dosage and Side Effects

Covaxin is administered in two doses with a gap of 28 days between both doses. The usual and reported side effects of the vaccine include pain and swelling at the injection site, abdominal pain, fever, headache, fatigue, body ache, nausea and vomiting, dizziness-giddiness, shivering, sweating, cold and cough. However, it is not necessary that you experience all of these. And the good thing is that none of these symptoms is adverse, and consuming paracetamol can help lessen these symptoms.


The Sputnik V vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Russia and is the first globally registered combination vector vaccine against COVID-19. This vaccine is also known as Gam-COVID-Vac. Let’s learn more about how it works.

How does Sputnik V work?

It has been seen that the use of two different vectors of the adenovirus can help the immune system become less resistant to the first vector, thereby increasing the efficacy of the vaccine. Using the harmless adenovirus strain, the vaccine carries a small part of the SARS-CoV2 virus, exposing the body to some part of the virus’s genetic code. The body then identifies the strain and combats it without letting it affect you. After being vaccinated, your immune system produces antibodies to fight the virus.

Is Sputnik V effective?

Sputnik V has an efficacy rate of 91%, which is relatively high and is quite close to that of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which have an efficacy rate of 95%.

Sputnik V: Dosage and Side Effects

The Sputnik V vaccine is administered in two doses with a gap of 21 days. However, each dose uses different inactive strains of the adenovirus, which is also used in Covishield, making the vaccine quite effective.

The reported symptoms of the vaccine do not require you to be hospitalised, and the side effects are not related to the doses. No severe symptoms have come to light yet, and fever is the most common symptom that is known to affect some people and helps boost the body’s immunity. The same can be curbed with the help of paracetamol.


The Pfizer vaccine in India, named under the trade/brand name Pfizer-Biontech, is another authorised COVID-19 vaccine issued for emergency usage by the FDA to curb the spread of the virus. This can be administered to individuals aged 6 months above.

However, dosage amounts for the vaccination for each individual should be advised by the relevant medical authority.

How does Pfizer Work?

The Pfizer-Biontech vaccination is based on the virus’s generic instructions. It contains the mRNA, also known as messenger RNA, which contains the instructions that help in building the spike proteins using natural mechanisms.

When mRNA enters the body, it releases sets of instructions that match with pathogens called antigens. When the immune system sees these antigens, it starts dispatching T-cells and antibodies to fight.

Further, the immune system also starts building enough antibodies for potential future attacks. Due to this, when the actual virus enters the body, the immune system recognises it and helps in fighting it.

Is Pfizer Effective?

Pfizer-Biontech vaccination has a success rate of 95% in the clinical trials. As per reports, the vaccine has a 95% efficacy rate in preventing symptomatic infection and works well for all age groups.

Pfizer: Dosage and Side Effects

Pfizer-Biontech comes with a 2-series dose for individuals between 12 to 15 years of age, and a further additional primary dose for individuals 12 years and over who are immunocompromised (have weak immune systems).

Reported side effects of vaccination include chest pain, difficulty breathing, lack of energy, vomiting, itching, etc. If the side effects are adverse and persistent, then it is advisable to seek medical help.

Does Your Medical Insurance Cover COVID-19?

Since the spread of COVID-19 in India, you can easily find the best health insurance plans in India with COVID-19 coverage.

To ensure that you choose a plan that works the best for you, always compare health insurance policies to find suitable protection against the COVID-19 virus and its effects. Tata AIG’s online health insurance plan offers comprehensive COVID-19 coverage in terms of hospitalisation and loss of income while protecting your whole family against the strain of the virus.


With a range of vaccines to choose from in India, ensure that you and your loved ones pick a suitable vaccine of your choice and get both doses completed as prescribed. Though the number of severe COVID-19 cases has come down considerably, keeping yourself and your family away from harm is always a step towards conquering the virus completely.


Which is more effective between Covaxin and Covishield?

Both vaccinations have been effective in India. The Covishield vaccination has been 90% effective, while covaxin has 78-81 % effectiveness. Further, the Covaxin vs Covishield side effects include nausea, weakness, slight pain in the injection area, etc.

When it comes to Covaxin vs Covishield price, both are free at government facilities, while at private hospitals, individuals need to pay ₹250.

Is the Indian COVID-19 vaccine better than Pfizer?

As per the various reports, it has been found that the Indian-developed COVID-19 vaccination has been effective over the mRNA vaccines such as Moderna and Pfizer.

Is Pfizer better than Sputnik?

Sputnik has an efficacy of 91.6%, which is quite similar to Pfizer and Moderna vaccination.

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