COVID-19 Vaccines: "Warp Speed" Needs Mind Melds, Not Warped Minds

Journal of Virology
John P Moore, P J Klasse


In this review, we address issues that relate to the rapid "Warp Speed" development of vaccines to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. We review the antibody response that is triggered by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection of humans and how it may inform vaccine research. The isolation and properties of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies from COVID-19 patients provide additional information on what vaccines should try to elicit. The nature and longevity of the antibody response to coronaviruses are relevant to the potency and duration of vaccine-induced immunity. We summarize the immunogenicity of leading vaccine candidates tested to date in animals and humans and discuss the outcome and interpretation of virus challenge experiments in animals. By far the most immunogenic vaccine candidates for antibody responses are recombinant proteins, which were not included in the initial wave of Warp Speed immunogens. A substantial concern for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is adverse events, which we review by considering what was seen in studies of SARS-CoV-1 and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) vaccines. We conclude by outlining the possible outcomes of the Warp Speed vaccine program, which ra...Continue Reading


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