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The success of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and challenges ahead
Cell Host & Microbe  (IF21.023),  Pub Date : 2021-07-14, DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2021.06.016
Kanta Subbarao

The rapid and remarkably successful development, manufacture, and deployment of several effective severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines is now tempered by three key challenges. First, reducing virus transmission will require prevention of asymptomatic and mild infections in addition to severe symptomatic infections. Second, the emergence of variants of concern with mutations in the S protein’s receptor binding domain increases the likelihood that vaccines will have to be updated because some of these mutations render variants less optimally targeted by current vaccines. This will require coordinated global SARS-CoV-2 surveillance to link genotypes to phenotypes, potentially using the WHO’s global influenza surveillance program as a guide. Third, concerns about the longevity of vaccine-induced immunity highlight the potential need for re-vaccination, depending on the extent to which the virus has been controlled and whether re-vaccination can target those at greatest risk of severe illness. Fortunately, as I discuss in this review, these challenges can be addressed.