COVID-19 Vaccine Platforms: Challenges and Safety Contemplations
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The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has become a pandemic as of March 2020, creating a global crisis and claiming millions of lives. To halt the pandemic and alleviate its impact on society, economy, and public health, the development of vaccines and antiviral agents against SARS-CoV-2 was a dire need. To date, various platforms have been utilized for SARSCoV-2 vaccine development, and over 200 vaccine candidates have been produced, many of which have obtained the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for emergency use. Despite this successful development and licensure, concerns regarding the safety and efficacy of these vaccines have arisen, given the unprecedented speed of vaccine development and the newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 strains and variants. In this review, we summarize the different platforms used for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine development, discuss their strengths and limitations, and highlight the major safety concerns and potential risks associated with each vaccine type.