Sputnik V, Covaxin and Covishield: How to identify fake Covid-19 vaccines



  • The Union Health Ministry has issued guidelines to identify fake Covid-19 vaccines and ensure that they are not administered in India. The guidelines come nearly two weeks after the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it has identified counterfeit versions of Covishield in South-East Asia and Africa.
  • Currently, there are three vaccines being administered in India — Serum Institute of India’s (SII) Covishield, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, and the Russian vaccine Sputnik V.
  • Here are the various parameters to identify if the Covid-19 vaccine is original:


    * SII product label
    * Label colour shade is dark green, as per approved art work (shade: Pantone 355C). Colour of the aluminium flip off seal is dark green.
    * Brand name with trade mark is mentioned. i.e. COVISHIELD.
    The text font of Generic name is un-bold.
    * (Recombinant) is printed at the end of Generic name.
    * Overprinted with CGS NOT FOR SALE.
    * With advanced systems installed on printing machine, the printing of SII logo on the adhesive side of the label. The logo is printed at a unique angle and position which can be identified by only a select few who are aware of the exact details.
    * The lettering is printed in special white ink to be more clear and readable. The general trend is to keep white lettering in reverse and just print the solid color. This gives the labels a special look and unique claret and readability.
* The entire label has been given a special texture honeycomb effect which is visible only at a specific angle
* At strategic locations, the honeycomb design has been altered slightly and certain additional special elements added to the texture design such that it is not visible to the layman, but people who know the subtle changes can easily check and verify the authenticity of the label and vial.


* Invisible UV helix (DNA like structure) on label which is only visible under UV light
* Micro Text hidden in label claim Dots, which is written as COVAXIN.

* Green foil effect in X of “Covaxin”

  • United diagnosticss

    United diagnosticss

* Holographic effect on COVAXIN


* Imported products are from two different bulk manufacturing sites from Russia and hence, there are two different labels for both these sites. While all the information and design is the same, only the manufacturer name is different.

* For all the imported products till now, the English label is only available on the front and back of the carton of 5 ampoule pack while for all other sides, including the primary label on the ampoule, is in Russian.


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