Background: To date, there is no comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the suitability of COVID-19 vaccines for mass immunization. The current systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of novel COVID-19 vaccine candidates under clinical trial evaluation and present a contemporary update on the development and implementation of a potential vaccines.
Methods: For this study PubMed, MEDLINE, and Embase electronic databases were used to search for eligible studies on the interface between novel coronavirus and vaccine design until December 31, 2020.
Results: We have included fourteen non-randomized and randomized controlled phase I-III trials. Implementation of a universal vaccination program with proven safety and efficacy through robust clinical evaluation is the long-term goal for preventing COVID-19. The immunization program must be cost-effective for mass production and accessibility. Despite pioneering techniques for the fast-track development of the vaccine in the current global emergency, mass production and availability of an effective COVID-19 vaccine could take some more time.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest a revisiting of the reported solicited and unsolicited systemic adverse events for COVID-19 candidate vaccines. Hence, it is alarming to judiciously expose thousands of participants to COVID-19 candidate vaccines at Phase-3 trials that have adverse events and insufficient evidence on safety and effectiveness that necessitates further justification.