Dr. Emanuel Papper, the founding chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University, was passionate about research, training, and innovation. At an event held in his honor on March 20, 2021, experts came together to discuss the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its myriad challenges. Dr. Wellington Sun, MD, of Vaxcellerant LLC, an expert in infectious disease and vaccine research and development, presented a "Primer of COVID-19 vaccines for the perioperative physician." Operation Warp Speed was successful in producing multiple efficacious and safe vaccines for use in the United States and around the globe. Their development and authorization for emergency use occurred in an unprecedented timespan of <1 year. Technology such as V-SAFE has helped to accrue extensive postdevelopment safety data that will be utilized for licensure of these vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccine success is tempered by the knowledge that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 continues its natural selection of variants that threaten the efficacy of vaccines. Important questions remain regarding the future of the COVID-19 pandemic, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 variants, successful vaccination strategies, and preparedness for future pandemics.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04796896.
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