Turkish Journal of Plastic Surgery

: 2021  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--3

COVID-19 vaccines

Cenk Demirdover 
 Department of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Medicine, Izmir, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Cenk Demirdover
Department of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Medicine, Izmir

How to cite this article:
Demirdover C. COVID-19 vaccines.Turk J Plast Surg 2021;29:1-3

How to cite this URL:
Demirdover C. COVID-19 vaccines. Turk J Plast Surg [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Jan 27 ];29:1-3
Available from: http://www.turkjplastsurg.org/text.asp?2021/29/1/1/305908

Full Text

Since the very first cases of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) have been reported, by the end of December 2020, more than 80 million confirmed cases and 1.8 million deaths occurred in the world.[1] The case fatality rate, which is the ratio between confirmed deaths and confirmed cases, was initially reported to be 3.4% during the early stages of the outbreak but had risen to around 14% by the end of April and mid-June in some countries, such as Italy, Sweden, and Spain.[2] To decelerate the rapid propagation of COVID-19, preventive measures such as lockdown, home quarantine, and social distancing have been defined.[3] Many countries eased restrictive measures by the early summer of 2020.[4] The number of COVID-19 cases began to rise again by November and restrictions started over again. However, this type of restrictions cannot be sustained for the long term, and either an effective vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 is required.

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 pandemic, all data have been collected and analyzed to better understand the epidemiological behavior of the disease. On the other hand, healthcare authorities and biomedical companies worked collaboratively to develop an effective vaccine for COVID-19.

 Organizational Structure behind The Vaccine Projects

The Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT Accelerator)

The objective of the ACT Accelerator partnership is to develop any fighting tool for COVID-19. It is based on diagnostics, treatment, vaccines, and healthcare systems[5]


COVAX is the vaccine pillar of the ACT Accelerator. It is led by WHO, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)[6]

GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization)

GAVI is a vaccine alliance. It is an international organization created in 2000 to improve access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world's poorest countries. The GAVI COVAX AMC is the innovative financing instrument that will support the participation of 92 low- and middle-income economies in the COVAX facility – enabling access to donor-funded doses of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines[7]

CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations)

CEPI is a global partnership launched in 2017 to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics.[8]

 The Current Situation in Coronavirus Disease-2019 Vaccine Race

Usually, every licensed and recommended vaccine goes through years of safety testing and clinical trials.[9] However, all around the world, many scientists try to develop an effective vaccine for COVID-19 simultaneously. By the end of December 2020, there are more than 154 vaccine projects which are being investigated in laboratory and animal studies. There are 20, 16, and 13 vaccine projects which are being tested in Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 clinical trials, respectively. Of these projects, only two have been approved in the USA.[10] The current situation in vaccine race is summarized in [Figure 1].{Figure 1}

 COVID-19 Vaccine Technology Platforms

COVID-19 vaccine technology platforms can be categorized as traditional and novel vaccine approaches. These platforms are summarized in [Table 1].[11],[12]{Table 1}

Traditional vaccine technology platforms

Killed/attenuated/inactivated virus: This technology has been used in many vaccines. It is safer but their effects are not very strongViral protein/protein fragments: Many vaccine projects used spike proteins which play a key role in pathogenesis. It is cheap to produce it; however, their unstable structure may decrease the immunogenicityLive-attenuated virus: The attenuated virus has less capacity of replication and its virulence. This type of vaccines triggers a strong immune response with a long-term duration.

Novel vaccine technology platforms

RNA vaccines: The messenger RNA (mRNA) possesses the codes for all the viral components. mRNA is converted to viral proteins to trigger host's immune response.DNA vaccines: It is similar to mRNA vaccines. In this type of vaccines, DNA is converted to mRNA before encoding the viral proteins. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine should be stored at −70°C and will only last 24 h when refrigerated. The Moderna vaccine is can be transported at −20°C and stored in a standard vaccine fridge (2°C–8°C) for 5 days.Viral vector vaccines: Human adenoviruses are used as viral vectors to encode the spike protein.


Tremendous effort and workload stay behind developing vaccines for COVID-19. Each type of vaccine bears its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of effectiveness, the degree of the immune response, duration, requiring additional doses, cost, and side effects. Usually, it takes many years before developing and licensing a specific vaccine; however, the available COVID-19 vaccines have been developed in less than a year period. It is evident that we need more time and clinical trials before reporting the safety of these vaccines. While reaching the most effective vaccine or treatment for COVID-19, preventive measures will still play an important role.


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