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Whole Inactivated Virus and Protein-Based COVID-19 Vaccines

Peter J. Hotez, Maria Elena Bottazzi
Published: 12 October 2021

Abstract: The rapid development and deployment of mRNA and adenovirus-vectored vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continue to astound the global scientific community, but these vaccine platforms and production approaches have still not achieved global COVID-19 vaccine equity. Immunizing the billions of people at risk for COVID-19 in the world's low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) still relies on the availability of vaccines produced and scaled through traditional technology approaches. Vaccines based on whole inactivated virus (WIV) and protein-based platforms, as well as protein particle-based vaccines, are the most produced by LMIC vaccine manufacturing strategies. Three major WIV vaccines are beginning to be distributed widely. Several protein-based and protein particle-based vaccines are advancing with promising results. Overall, these vaccines are exhibiting excellent safety profiles and in some instances have shown their potential to induce high levels of virus neutralizing antibodies and T cell responses (and protection) both in nonhuman primates and in early studies in humans. There is an urgent need to continue accelerating these vaccines for LMICs in time to fully vaccinate these populations by the end of 2022 at the latest. Achieving these goals would also serve as an important reminder that we must continue to maintain expertise in producing multiple vaccine technologies, rather than relying on any individual platform. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Medicine, Volume 73 is January 2022. Please see for revised estimates.
Keywords: vaccines / virus / protein based / relies / COVID / platforms / safety / antibodies / LMICs

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