Working Paper Review Version 2 This version is not peer-reviewed

SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines: ‘Warp Speed’ Needs Mind Melds not Warped Minds

Version 1 : Received: 5 June 2020 / Approved: 7 June 2020 / Online: 7 June 2020 (10:26:44 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 19 June 2020 / Approved: 21 June 2020 / Online: 21 June 2020 (15:44:06 CEST)

How to cite: Moore, J. P.; Klasse, P. J. SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines: ‘Warp Speed’ Needs Mind Melds not Warped Minds. Preprints 2020, 2020060079 Moore, J. P.; Klasse, P. J. SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines: ‘Warp Speed’ Needs Mind Melds not Warped Minds. Preprints 2020, 2020060079


In this review, we address issues that relate to the rapid “Warp Speed” development of vaccines to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. We review the antibody response that is triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection of humans, and how it may inform vaccine research. The isolation and properties of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies from COVID-19 patients provide additional information on what vaccines should try to elicit. The nature and longevity of the antibody response to coronaviruses are relevant to the potency and duration of vaccine-induced immunity. We summarize the immunogenicity of leading vaccine candidates tested to date in animals and humans, and discuss the outcome and interpretation of virus-challenge experiments in animals. By far the most immunogenic vaccine candidates for antibody responses are recombinant proteins, which are not included in the initial wave of “Warp Speed” immunogens. A substantial concern for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is adverse events, which we review by considering what was seen in studies of SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV vaccines. We conclude by outlining the possible outcomes of the “Warp Speed” vaccine program, which range from the hoped-for rapid success to a catastrophic adverse influence on vaccine uptake generally.


SARS-CoV-2; S-protein; RBD; COVID-19; neutralizing antibodies; serology; vaccines; animal models; Warp Speed


Medicine and Pharmacology, Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 21 June 2020
Commenter: John Moore
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: This article has now been favorably peer reviewed at the Journal of Virology, and a revised version has been submitted to that journal. The revised version contains our responses to the reviewers comments, including the addition of a new Table. In addition, we have added several new references, and text discussions thereof, to reflect how the relevant literature has evolved since the original submission. 
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