Potential effects of vaccinations on the prevention of COVID-19: rationale, clinical evidence, risks, and public health considerations

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2020 Oct;19(10):919-936. doi: 10.1080/14760584.2020.1825951. Epub 2020 Oct 6.


Introduction Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), has quickly spread around the world. Areas covered This review will discuss the available immunologic and clinical evidence to support the benefit of the influenza, pneumococcal, and tuberculosis vaccines in the context of COVID-19 as well as to provide an overview on the COVID-19-specific vaccines that are in the development pipeline. In addition, implications for vaccination strategies from a public health perspective will be discussed. Expert opinion Some vaccines are being considered for their potentially beneficial role in preventing or improving the prognosis of COVID-19: influenza, pneumococcal and tuberculosis vaccines. These vaccines may have either direct effect on COVID-19 via different types of immune responses or indirect effects by reducing the burden of viral and bacterial respiratory diseases on individual patients and national healthcare system and by facilitating differential diagnoses with other viral/bacterial respiratory disease. On the other hand, a large number of candidate vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are currently in the pipeline and undergoing phase I, II, and III clinical studies. As SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are expected to be marketed through accelerated regulatory pathways, vaccinovigilance as well as planning of a successful vaccination campaign will play a major role in protecting public health.

Keywords: BCG vaccine; COVID-19; influenza vaccine; pneumococcal vaccine; vaccination campaign; vaccines; vaccinovigilance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / immunology
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / immunology
  • Drug Development
  • Humans
  • Pharmacovigilance
  • Public Health
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology
  • SARS-CoV-2 / isolation & purification
  • Vaccination*


  • COVID-19 Vaccines