COVID-19 is an emerging infectious disease that has turned into a pandemic. It spreads through droplet transmission of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. It is an RNA virus displaying a spike protein as the major surface protein with significant sequence similarity to SARS-CoV which causes severe acute respiratory syndrome. The receptor binding domain of the spike protein interacts with the human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 and is considered as the antigenic determinant for stimulating an immune response. While multiple candidate vaccines are currently under different stages of development, there are no known therapeutic interventions at the moment. This review describes the key genetic features that are being considered for generating vaccine candidates by employing innovative technologies. It also highlights the global efforts being undertaken to deliver vaccines for COVID-19 through unprecedented international cooperation and future challenges post development.
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