Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 and disease enhancement – knowns and unknowns

Link to article at PubMed

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2020 Aug 24:1-8. doi: 10.1080/14760584.2020.1800463. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: The world is currently fighting a COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps the most disruptive infectious disease outbreak since the 1918 Spanish influenza. Governments have taken drastic measures to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2, and the development of safe and efficacious vaccine candidates is being accelerated. The possibility of vaccine-mediated disease enhancement with coronavirus vaccines has been flagged as a potential safety concern, and, despite the urgent need, should be thoroughly assessed as vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are being tested.

AREA COVERED: We review the in vivo evidence suggesting a theoretical risk of disease enhancement after vaccination with SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV vaccine candidates. We also identify knowledge gaps that need to be filled to maximize the chance of developing a safe vaccine and minimize the risk of encountering disease enhancement in vaccinated individuals after exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

EXPERT OPINION: We compile and propose avenues to investigate the risk of vaccine-mediated disease enhancement both during pre-clinical and early clinical development. While the pressing need for a vaccine against COVID-19 (and future epidemic coronaviruses) cannot be ignored, we advocate to keep safety at the center of the debate. Protecting individuals with effective and safe vaccines should be a priority, even during extraordinary times like the COVID-19 pandemic.

PMID:32838605 | DOI:10.1080/14760584.2020.1800463

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *