Effect of coronavirus disease 2019 on the vaccine development paradigm

Okay S.

Exploration of Immunology, vol.3, pp.433-441, 2023 (Scopus) identifier


Vaccines are prophylactic medical products effectively used against infectious diseases. Although a high amount of vaccine studies are conducted at the preclinical stage, the number of approved vaccines is less than 10%. Development of vaccines from the research stage to the approval of administrative institutions takes about 5 years to 10 years conventionally. However, this period of time for vaccine development is not convenient during public health emergencies because an effective vaccine is required in a short time to restrict the speed of high mortality and morbidity. The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), had its catastrophic effects worldwide quickly. Therefore, an atypical process was followed for the development of COVID-19 vaccines. Great effort was spent in terms of cooperation among the governmental institutions, academia, and medical companies as well as a high amount of budget was allocated to develop effective vaccines against COVID-19. As of March 2023, the numbers of COVID-19 vaccines in clinical and preclinical development were 183 and 199, respectively. An emergency use authorization (EUA) process was applied to accelerate the approval of the vaccines. Consequently, vaccinations could be started in less than a year, which decelerated the speed of the pandemic. Although EUA caused hesitancy among some people questioning the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, the vast majority of the population was vaccinated. Currently, more than 5.5 billion people (about 70% of the world population) have received 13.38 billion doses of 11 different COVID-19 vaccines, and 73% of the doses were Comirnaty manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech.