COVID-19 vaccines: their effectiveness against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its emerging variants.Bull Natl Res Cent. 2022; 46(1):96.BN
The world has been suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic (officially declared by WHO in March 2020), caused by the severe acute respiratory β-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) since the last week of December 2019. The disease was initially designated as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30, 2020. In order to protect the health of mass public, an array of research on drugs and vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 has been conducted globally. However, the emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2, i.e., Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), and Delta (B.1.617.2) variants which evolved in late 2020 and the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) which emerged in November 2021 along with its subvariant BA.2 which was first identified in India and South Africa in late December 2021, have raised the doubt about the efficiency of the currently used vaccines especially in terms of the consistent potential to produce neutralizing antibodies targeting the viral spike (S) protein.
Main body of the abstract
The present review discussed the functional details of major vaccines regarding their efficiency against such variants during the pandemic. Overall, the mRNA vaccines have shown around 94% effectiveness; the adenovector vaccine showed approximately 70% efficacy, whereas Sputnik V vaccines showed around 92% effectiveness; the inactivated whole-virus vaccine CoronaVac/PiCoVacc and BBIBP-CorV showed a varying effectiveness of 65-86% according to the geographic locations; the subunit vaccine NVX-CoV2373 has shown 60-89% effectiveness along with the global regions against the wild-type SARS-CoV-2 strain. However, reduced effectiveness of these vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 variants was noticed which is suggestive for the further administration of booster dose.
Maximum variants of SARS-CoV-2 emerged during the second wave of COVID-19; and extensive studies on the viral genomic sequences from all geographical locations around the world have been conducted by an array of groups to assess the possible occurrence of mutations(s) specially within the receptor binding domain of the viral spike (S) protein. Mutational similarities and the new or critical mutations within all variants have been clearly identified so far. The study of effectiveness of the currently used vaccines is also ongoing. The persistence of memory B cell action and the other immune components as well as the administration of booster dose is expected to mitigate the disease.