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Frontiers of Medicine >> 2022, Volume 16, Issue 2 doi: 10.1007/s11684-021-0913-y

SARS-CoV-2 vaccine research and immunization strategies for improved control of the COVID-19 pandemic

Available online: 2022-02-25

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The record speed at which Chinese scientists identified severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and shared its genomic sequence with the world, has greatly facilitated the development of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) diagnostics, drugs, and vaccines. It is unprecedented in pandemic control history to develop a dozen successful vaccines in the first year and to immunize over half of the global population in the second year, due to the efforts of the scientific community, biopharmaceutical industry, and regulatory agencies worldwide. The challenges are both great and multidimensional due to the rapid emergence of virus variants and waning of vaccine immunity. Vaccination strategies need to adapt to these challenges to keep population immunity above the herd immunity threshold, by increasing vaccine coverage, especially for older adults and young people, and providing timely booster doses with homologous or heterologous vaccine boosts. Further research should be undertaken to develop more effective vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 variants and to understand the best prime-boost vaccine combinations and immunization strategies to provide sufficient and sustainable immune protection against COVID-19.

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