Special Issue "New Insights into Current and Future Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern and Interest"

A special issue of Vaccines (ISSN 2076-393X). This special issue belongs to the section "COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 10057

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Bingqian Qu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Division of Veterinary Medicine, Paul Ehrlich Institute, Langen, Germany
2. European Virus Bioinformatics Center (EVBC), Jena, Germany
Interests: coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; variant of concern; vaccine evaluation; T Lymphocytes; HBV
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Xue Li
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Internal Medicine III, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
Interests: infection and immunity; inflammation; monocytes/macrophages; T Lymphocytes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been a worldwide threat in the last two years, leading to more than 239 million confirmed infection cases and 4.8 million deaths. So far, no curative medications specific for the pathogen SARS-CoV-2 are available. Despite the availability of prophylactic vaccines, it remains a major public health problem due to at least two facts: (1) low numbers of vaccine doses in developing countries and (2) variants generated during its robust replication and rapid spreading in unvaccinated individuals. 

As of 31st May 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC), of interest (VOI) and of high consequence/under monitoring. However, all WHO-approved vaccines, i.e., Comirnaty, Spikevax, Vaxzevria, Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, BBIBP-CorV and CoronaVac were manufactured relying on the original virus. Nowadays, breakthrough infections occur in vaccinated people, although they experience alleviated severity and lower mortality. 

We are pleased to invite you to contribute to the Special Issue entitled “New Insights into Current and Future Vaccines Against Sars-Cov-2 Variants of Concern and Interest”. This issue will provide an overview of humoral and cellular immunity induced by current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, with topics especially regarding, but not limited to, two scientific issues: (1) strategies to elongate humoral and cellular immune responses induced by vaccine(s), and (2) development of future vaccines for VOC and VOI. Research articles, communications and reviews are welcome. 

We look forward to receiving your contributions. 

Dr. Bingqian Qu
Dr. Xue Li
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Vaccines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • SARS-CoV-2
  • variants of concern
  • variants of interest
  • neutralizing antibody
  • antigenic shift
  • immune escape
  • cellular immunity
  • multivalent vaccine
  • variant-modified mRNA
  • vaccine evaluation

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Dynamics of Changes in the Concentration of IgG against the S1 Subunit in Polish Healthcare Workers in the Period from 1 to 12 Months after Injection, Including Four COVID-19 Vaccines
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040506 - 24 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1422
Abstract
Background: The presented research made it possible to obtain the characteristics of changes in anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG within one year of vaccination in healthcare workers. Materials and Methods: The research group consisted of 18,610 participants represented by medical and administration staff. IgG antibody concentrations [...] Read more.
Background: The presented research made it possible to obtain the characteristics of changes in anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG within one year of vaccination in healthcare workers. Materials and Methods: The research group consisted of 18,610 participants represented by medical and administration staff. IgG antibody concentrations were determined by ELISA. Results: At 5–8 months after full vaccination, the levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG with equal vaccines were similar. The exception was JNJ-78436735, for which IgG levels were significantly lower. In the 9th month after vaccination, an increase in the anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG level, suggesting asymptomatic infection, was observed in a large group of participants. Significantly higher levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies were observed after the booster dose compared to the second dose. The increase in antibodies was observed already around the 5th day after the injection of the booster dose, and was maximized at approximately the 14th day. Conclusion: The cut-off date for protection against the disease seems to be the period 8–9 months from the vaccination for mRNA vaccines and 5–6 months for vector vaccines. The introduction of a booster dose was the right decision, which could have a real impact on restricting the further transmission of the virus. Full article
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Communication
Development of an Oral Salmonella-Based Vaccine Platform against SARS-CoV-2
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010067 - 01 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2268
Abstract
Effective vaccine development for global outbreaks, such as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has been successful in the short run. However, the currently available vaccines have been associated with a higher frequency of adverse effects compared with other general vaccines. In this study, [...] Read more.
Effective vaccine development for global outbreaks, such as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has been successful in the short run. However, the currently available vaccines have been associated with a higher frequency of adverse effects compared with other general vaccines. In this study, the possibility of an oral bacteria-based vaccine that can be safely used as a platform for large-scale, long-term immunization was evaluated. A well-known Salmonella strain that was previously considered as a vaccine delivery candidate was used. Recombinant Salmonella cells expressing engineered viral proteins related with COVID-19 pathogenesis were engineered, and the formulation of the oral vaccine candidate strain was evaluated by in vitro and in vivo experiments. First, engineered S proteins were synthesized and cloned into expression vectors, which were than transformed into Salmonella cells. In addition, when orally administrated to mice, the vaccine promoted antigen-specific antibody production and cellular immunity was induced with no significant toxicity effects. These results suggest that Salmonella strains may represent a valuable platform for the development of an oral vaccine for COVID-19 as an alternative to tackle the outbreak of various mutated coronavirus strains and new infectious diseases in the future. Full article
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Review

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Review
Transplacental Transfer of Maternal Antibody against SARS-CoV-2 and Its Influencing Factors: A Review
Vaccines 2022, 10(7), 1083; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10071083 - 06 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 898
Abstract
Since the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, the disease has rapidly become a global threat. The constant emergence of new variants has increased the difficulty of controlling this disease. Vaccination is still considered the most effective method to prevent COVID-19. [...] Read more.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, the disease has rapidly become a global threat. The constant emergence of new variants has increased the difficulty of controlling this disease. Vaccination is still considered the most effective method to prevent COVID-19. Vaccination has expanded to include children aged 3–17 years old, and some countries have lowered the age of vaccination to 6 months (for example, the United States). However, children under 3 years old are still not able to be vaccinated in most countries. In this study, we summarize the COVID-19 vaccination status in pregnant women, comprehensively elaborate on the status of maternal immune response and maternal antibody transfer after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and vaccination, and further analyze the possible influencing factors of maternal antibody transfer according to the currently available evidence on the topic. It was concluded that pregnant women develop an immune response and produce antibodies that can be transmitted through the placenta after vaccination, but more data are needed to determine the transfer rate and duration of these maternal antibodies and potential factors. The results provide a scientific basis for studying the protective effect of maternal antibodies on infants, formulating a vaccination strategy for pregnant women, and preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection in infants. Full article
Review
The Landscape of COVID-19 Vaccination in Zimbabwe: A Narrative Review and Analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of the Programme
Vaccines 2022, 10(2), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10020262 - 09 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2283
Abstract
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges for the population. The advent of national COVID-19 vaccination programmes was therefore welcome as a key control strategy for the COVID-19 pandemic, as evidence has shown that vaccination is the best strategy to reduce the adverse [...] Read more.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges for the population. The advent of national COVID-19 vaccination programmes was therefore welcome as a key control strategy for the COVID-19 pandemic, as evidence has shown that vaccination is the best strategy to reduce the adverse individual and population level adverse outcomes associated with infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Zimbabwe rolled out its vaccination programme in February 2021 with an ambitious target to vaccinate at least 60% of its eligible population by December 2021. However, by that time, the country was still to reach that target. To move the vaccination programme towards achieving this target, it is crucial to understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the programme. We, therefore, with this narrative review, discuss some of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the programme since its rollout in February 2021. Though the programme has several strengths and opportunities to leverage on, we argue that among other challenges, the emergence of new variants of concern poses one of the biggest threats to local, regional and international vaccination programmes and requires concerted multistakeholder efforts to deal with. Additionally, addressing vaccine hesitancy remains as important as availing the vaccines to the population, to obtain the most benefits out of the programme. Full article
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Other

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Case Report
Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis Relapse after COVID-19 Vaccination: A Case Report
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010013 - 23 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2453
Abstract
Background: We here describe the case of a 71-year-old Caucasian woman previously diagnosed with Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (EGPA) that had been treated with Mepolizumab, an anti-IL5 monoclonal antibody, since 2019 with a good clinical response. Methods: She had a mild COVID-19 in [...] Read more.
Background: We here describe the case of a 71-year-old Caucasian woman previously diagnosed with Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (EGPA) that had been treated with Mepolizumab, an anti-IL5 monoclonal antibody, since 2019 with a good clinical response. Methods: She had a mild COVID-19 in December 2020 and she tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 infection in only late January 2021. In April 2021 she received the first dose of mRNA BNT162b2 vaccine. Ten days later she developed myalgia, dyspnea and numbness of the limbs due to a relapse of EGPA that occurred during Mepolizumab treatment. Full article
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