Best-Case Coronavirus Vaccine Scenarios

May 12, 2020

What is the hopeful expectation of the new candidates, relative to previously developed vaccines?

The future of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine candidate efficacy is highly dependent on factors out of manufacturers’ control.

That puts a lot of pressure on the makeup of trial assessment—as well as understanding the maximum potential of each preventive candidate.

In an interview with Contagion, William Schaffner, MD, professor of Preventive Medicine and Medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, discussed the variability of marketed vaccines and how expectations differentiate for each disease. For example, he noted, the difference in modern protection from shingles versus influenza is significant.

And what could be hoped for in a COVID-19 vaccine?

“We would hope for something that is over 80% effective,” he said. “We have to, I think, in the 21st century, have a product that is at least 80% effective. They would hope for more, of course.”

Schaffner also discussed the stratified assessment of vaccine candidates across age groups, and the potential need of booster administrations and eventual clinical follow-up with a COVID-19 vaccine.