PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We reviewed three leading strategies of vaccine development against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): mRNA vaccines, adenoviral vector vaccines and recombinant nanoparticles. We also considered the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants and their impact on the effectiveness of the most widely implemented vaccines.

RECENT FINDINGS: General properties, efficacy, safety and global uptake of Pfizer/BioNTech's Comirnaty (BNT162b2), Moderna's Spikevax (mRNA-1273), Oxford/AstraZeneca's ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, J&J/Janssen's Ad26.COV2.S and Novavax's NVX-CoV2373 vaccines at the end of the year 2021 were presented. We summarized the information on the effectiveness against COVID-19 infection, severe disease and death. We then focused on important missense mutations in the five variants of concern (VoC): Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron. We explored the evidence for the effectiveness of the vaccines against those five VoC.

SUMMARY: It is difficult to predict the further development of the COVID-19 pandemic. The development of vaccines of an increasingly broad spectrum against coronaviruses, more easily deliverable and conferring more durable immune protection is likely. However, the very large number of infections may lead to new mutations with unpredictable impacts. Interventions that would control COVID-19 more effectively and enable a safer coexistence with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its emerging variants are still needed in early 2022.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-191
JournalCurrent opinion in pulmonary medicine
Issue number3
Early online date23 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


  • Ad26COVS1
  • BNT162 Vaccine
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19/prevention & control
  • ChAdOx1 nCoV-19
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2/genetics


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