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How to check if a COVID-19 vaccine is original? Centre issues guidelines

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The government has shared a list of parameters with states and union territories to identify authentic versions of Covishield, Covaxin, and Sputnik V — the three vaccines currently being used in India.

How to check if a COVID-19 vaccine is original? Centre issues guidelines

In the wake of the World Health Organization (WHO) identifying counterfeit versions of Covishield in South-East Asia and Africa, the health ministry on Sunday issued guidelines to identify fake COVID-19 vaccines. The government has shared a list of parameters with states and union territories to identify authentic versions of Covishield, Covaxin, and Sputnik V — the three vaccines currently being used in India.

Here's how to check if a Covishield vaccine is original:

  • Brand name with the trademark is mentioned on the original vaccine.

  • The colour of the aluminium flip-off seal is dark green while the label shade is also dark green.

  • Overprinted with “CGS NOT FOR SALE”

  • The letters are printed on the vaccine bottle in special white ink to be more clear and readable.

  • The text font of the generic name is un-bold.

  • Also, for the entire label there is a special texture honeycomb effect which is visible only at a particular angle.

    Here's how to check whether a Covaxin vaccine is original:

    • Green foil effect in X of Covaxin.

    • UV helix or a DNA-like structure on the Covaxin label — only visible under UV light.

    • Micro text hidden in the label

    • A holographic effect has been given on the text 'Covaxin'.

      Here's how to check whether a Sputnik V vaccine is original:

      • The English label is only available on the front and back of the carton of the 5 ampoule pack while for all other sides, including the primary label on the ampoule, it is in Russian.

      • Imported products are from two different bulk manufacturing sites from Russia. So,  there are two different labels for both these sites. Information and design are the same, but the manufacturer name is different.

        When asked whether duplicate Covishield vaccines are being sold in India, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, “It has been claimed that duplicate versions of the Covishield vaccine were sold in the country. The Indian government is probing this claim and will take action if it found any substance to the allegations.”