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Several COVID-19 vaccines have been developed, but additional effective vaccines are still needed to meet the global demand. A study showed that the fast appearance and spread of SARS-CoV2 variants of concern (VOCs), which have the potential to evade neutralizing antibodies or cell-mediated immunity, can jeopardize vaccine effectiveness (VE).

Several pneumonia cases with unclear etiologies were discovered in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, around the end of December 2019. The Chinese government determined the disease’s etiological agent to be a new coronavirus.

  • The structures of numerous viral proteins were established as soon as the “Wuhan virus’s” full genome sequence was made available online.
  • The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses named the novel virus “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)” based on the phylogenetic and taxonomy analysis of the causal agent.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) then suggested “COVID-19” as a shorthand form for coronavirus disease 2019.

Nine COVID-19 vaccine candidates established for the initial Wuhan-Hu-1 strain were at the forefront of vaccine development in 2021. The effectiveness of each of the nine agents against symptomatic COVID-19 was greater than 50%: mRNA1273 (94%); NVXCoV2373 (96%); Sputnik V (92%); BNT162b2 (95%); BBIBPCorV (79%); AZD1222 (81%); Ad26.CoV.S (66%); Covaxin (78%) and CoronaVac (51%).

The spike (S) protein included in the initial Wuhan-Hu-1 strain was incorporated into the development of the Covid-19 vaccines. However, changes due to SARS-CoV2 generated noteworthy missense mutations in the trimeric S protein. One study examined the most important changes in the SARS-CoV 2 spike protein, vaccine effectiveness (VE) against variants of concern (VOCs), adverse side effects following Covid-19 vaccination, and several intriguing COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

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Researchers reported that the rapid emergence and spread of SARS-CoV2 variants of concern, which may be able to avoid neutralizing antibodies or cell-mediated immunity, could endanger the efficacy of vaccines. Viral vector and mRNA vaccines have also been associated with rare adverse effects that were noted shortly after injection. However, more research is required to verify this finding.



Hadj Hassine, I. (2022). Covid-19 vaccines and variants of concern: A review. Reviews in Medical Virology, 32(4), e2313. https://doi.org/10.1002/rmv.2313