The way of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development: success and challenges.Signal Transduct Target Ther. 2021 11 09; 6(1):387.ST
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To halt the pandemic, multiple SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have been developed and several have been allowed for emergency use and rollout worldwide. With novel SARS-CoV-2 variants emerging and circulating widely, whether the original vaccines that were designed based on the wild-type SARS-CoV-2 were effective against these variants has been a contentious discussion. Moreover, some studies revealed the long-term changes of immune responses post SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination and the factors that might impact the vaccine-induced immunity. Thus, in this review, we have summarized the influence of mutational hotspots on the vaccine efficacy and characteristics of variants of interest and concern. We have also discussed the reasons that might result in discrepancies in the efficacy of different vaccines estimated in different trials. Furthermore, we provided an overview of the duration of immune responses after natural infection or vaccination and shed light on the factors that may affect the immunity induced by the vaccines, such as special disease conditions, sex, and pre-existing immunity, with the aim of aiding in combating COVID-19 and distributing SARS-CoV-2 vaccines under the prevalence of diverse SARS-CoV-2 variants.