Special Issue "SARS-CoV-2 Variants: Unraveling Vaccines and Immune Responses"

A special issue of Vaccines (ISSN 2076-393X). This special issue belongs to the section "COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2024 | Viewed by 120

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Zijun Wang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, The Rockefeller University, New York City, NY, USA
Interests: infectious diseases; immunological memory; monoclonal antibodies; immunotherapy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The emergence of diverse variants of concern (VOC) has significantly influenced the genomic landscape of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). These variants, characterized by specific mutations, exhibit increased transmissibility, fusogenicity, and the ability to evade both natural infection and vaccine-induced immunity. Notably, variants such as the Omicron VOCs, which emerged in November 2021, demonstrate partial or complete resistance to monoclonal treatments designed for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes. The continuous evolution of Omicron sublineages, such as BA.2, BA.4/5, XBB.1, and XBB.1.5, marked by an increasing number of spike protein mutations, has presented significant challenges in containing the spread of SARS-CoV-2. In response to these challenges, the formulation of bivalent SARS-CoV-2 booster vaccines that incorporate the Omicron BA.1 or BA.5 spike protein, in addition to the ancestral spike, has been proposed as a strategic approach. 

Studying the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 variants, vaccines, and immune responses is of utmost importance to address critical questions and concerns. It allows us to assess the effectiveness of current vaccines against the evolving variants and identify potential areas for improvement. By examining how the virus evolves and how vaccines elicit immune responses, we can develop more targeted and adaptive strategies to combat the virus effectively. 

Furthermore, understanding the dynamics of immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 variants provides insights into the durability and breadth of vaccine-induced protection. This knowledge aids in identifying the correlates of protection and determining the need for booster doses or variant-specific vaccines. By deciphering the immune responses elicited by different variants, we can optimize vaccination strategies to ensure long-term immunity and reduce the risk of breakthrough infections. 

The information gained from unraveling the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 variants, vaccines, and immune responses directly impacts public health decision-making. It enables policymakers, healthcare professionals, and scientists to make informed choices regarding vaccine distribution, prioritization, and potential modifications to vaccination programs. Moreover, this knowledge empowers us to adapt our strategies swiftly in response to emerging viral threats, ensuring a proactive and effective control of COVID-19.

This Special Issue aims to delve into the intricate relationship between SARS-CoV-2 variants, vaccine development, and the immune system. We encourage submissions that explore the genomic, molecular, and structural characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 variants and their implications for vaccine effectiveness. Additionally, we seek studies investigating the dynamics of immune responses, including both humoral and cellular immunity, in the context of these variants.

Potential topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  1. Comprehensive characterization of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants and their unique features;
  2. Evaluation of the effectiveness of currently available vaccines against variant strains;
  3. Analysis of the immune response elicited by vaccines targeting SARS-CoV-2 variants;
  4. Investigation of variant-specific immune evasion mechanisms and their impact on breakthrough infections;
  5. Long-term durability and persistence of vaccine-induced immunity against variant strains;
  6. Assessment of alternative vaccination strategies or booster doses to address variant challenges;
  7. Understanding the implications of SARS-CoV-2 variants on global vaccination efforts and public health interventions;
  8. Real-world effectiveness studies of vaccines against variant strains in diverse populations.

We welcome original research articles, comprehensive reviews, and insightful perspective papers that contribute to our understanding of SARS-CoV-2 variants and their implications for vaccines and immune responses. Submissions utilizing diverse methodologies, including genomics, immunology, virology, epidemiology, and clinical research, are encouraged.

By unraveling the intricate relationship between SARS-CoV-2 variants, vaccines, and immune responses, we aim to generate knowledge that can inform public health decision-making, shape vaccination strategies, and enhance our preparedness against emerging viral threats. Together, let us delve into this important research area and pave the way towards a more effective control of COVID-19.

Dr. Zijun Wang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Vaccines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • SARS-CoV-2
  • variants
  • vaccines
  • immune responses

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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