Challenges in evaluating SARS-CoV-2 vaccines

July 09, 2020

With more than 140 SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in development, the race is on for a successful candidate to help prevent COVID-19. An effective and safe vaccine would be a major advance in the fight against COVID-19. However, there are challenges in evaluating the efficacy of these vaccines during the pandemic, as an analysis article outlines in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Those evaluating vaccine efficacy must take into account the risk of infection in the population being studied, use of social distancing practices, rates of pre-existing immunity from earlier COVID-19 and factors that influence the likelihood of severe COVID-19.

"The dynamic and rapidly changing pattern of virus exposure and level of population immunity during the evolving pandemic are potentially important confounders in the assessment of the efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines," writes Dr. Bahaa Abu-Raya, BC Children's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, with coauthors. "This should be considered in sample size calculations for efficacy trials."

Some considerations:The authors emphasize the need to test vaccines in vulnerable populations such as seniors, health care workers, Black people and those with risk factors for severe disease and who may have a different response than younger, healthier trial participants.

"The changing dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic present a unique challenge for evaluating vaccines for SARS-CoV-2," says author Dr. Manish Sadarangani, Director of the Vaccine Evaluation Center at BC Children's Hospital and Sauder Family Chair in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of British Columbia. "Researchers need to understand the immune responses generated after infection with this virus and whether they are protective, as this will help to inform the development and evaluation of these vaccines."
-end-


Canadian Medical Association Journal

Related Pandemic Articles from Brightsurf:

Areas where the next pandemic could emerge are revealed
An international team of human- and animal health experts has incorporated environmental, social and economic considerations -- including air transit centrality - to identify key areas at risk of leading to the next pandemic.

Narcissists love being pandemic 'essential workers'
There's one group of essential workers who especially enjoy being called a ''hero'' during the COVID-19 pandemic: narcissists.

COVID-19: Air quality influences the pandemic
An interdisciplinary team from the University of Geneva and the ETH Z├╝rich spin-off Meteodat investigated possible interactions between acutely elevated levels of fine particulate matter and the virulence of the coronavirus disease.

People who purchased firearms during pandemic more likely to be suicidal
People who purchase a firearm during the pandemic are more likely to be suicidal than other firearm owners, according to a Rutgers study.

Measles outbreaks likely in wake of COVID-19 pandemic
Major measles outbreaks will likely occur during 2021 as an unexpected consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new academic article.

The COVID-19 pandemic: How US universities responded
A new George Mason University study found that the majority of university announcements occurred on the same day as the World Health Organization's pandemic declaration.

Researchers find evidence of pandemic fatigue
A new study from the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology shows that the behavioral responses to COVID-19 differed by age.

Excessive alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic
The full impact of COVID-19 on alcohol use is not yet known, but rates have been rising during the first few months of the pandemic.

How fear encourages physical distancing during pandemic
Despite guidelines plastered on the walls and floors of grocery and retail stores encouraging customers to maintain six-feet of physical distance during the pandemic, many do not.

COVID-19 pandemic and $16 trillion virus
This Viewpoint aggregates mortality, morbidity, mental health conditions, and direct economic losses to estimate the total cost of the pandemic in the US on the optimistic assumption that it will be substantially contained by the fall of 2021.

Read More: Pandemic News and Pandemic Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.