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Progress and pitfalls in the quest for effective SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccines


Flanagan, KL and Best, E and Crawford, NW and Giles, M and Koirala, A and Macartney, K and Russell, F and Teh, BW and Wen, SCH, Progress and pitfalls in the quest for effective SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccines, Frontiers in Immunology, 11 pp. 1-24. ISSN 1664-3224 (2020) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Flanagan, Best, Crawford, Giles, Koirala, Macartney, Russell, Teh and Wen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

DOI: doi:10.3389/fimmu.2020.579250


There are currently around 200 SARS-CoV-2 candidate vaccines in preclinical and clinical trials throughout the world. The various candidates employ a range of vaccine strategies including some novel approaches. Currently, the goal is to prove that they are safe and immunogenic in humans (phase 1/2 studies) with several now advancing into phase 2 and 3 trials to demonstrate efficacy and gather comprehensive data on safety. It is highly likely that many vaccines will be shown to stimulate antibody and T cell responses in healthy individuals and have an acceptable safety profile, but the key will be to confirm that they protect against COVID-19. There is much hope that SARS-CoV-2 vaccines will be rolled out to the entire world to contain the pandemic and avert its most damaging impacts. However, in all likelihood this will initially require a targeted approach toward key vulnerable groups. Collaborative efforts are underway to ensure manufacturing can occur at the unprecedented scale and speed required to immunize billions of people. Ensuring deployment also occurs equitably across the globe will be critical. Careful evaluation and ongoing surveillance for safety will be required to address theoretical concerns regarding immune enhancement seen in previous contexts. Herein, we review the current knowledge about the immune response to this novel virus as it pertains to the design of effective and safe SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and the range of novel and established approaches to vaccine development being taken. We provide details of some of the frontrunner vaccines and discuss potential issues including adverse effects, scale-up and delivery.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), adverse events of special interest (AESI), antibody dependent enhancement (ADE), bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), cell mediated immunity, innate immunity, neutralizing antibodies, spike protein
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Immunology
Research Field:Applied immunology (incl. antibody engineering, xenotransplantation and t-cell therapies)
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Prevention of human diseases and conditions
UTAS Author:Flanagan, KL (Dr Katie Flanagan)
ID Code:151631
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:55
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2022-08-02
Last Modified:2022-09-05
Downloads:4 View Download Statistics

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