Expert Opinions on the Most Promising Treatments and Vaccine Candidates for COVID-19: Global Cross-sectional Survey of Virus Researchers in the Early Months of the Pandemic (FULL-TEXT)

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a great public health challenge worldwide, especially given the urgent need to identify effective drugs and develop a vaccine in a short period of time. Globally, several drugs and vaccine candidates are in clinical trials. However, because these drugs and vaccines are still being tested, there is still no definition of which ones will succeed.This study aimed to assess the opinions of over 1000 virus researchers with knowledge on the prevention and treatment of coronavirus-related human diseases to determine the most promising drug and vaccine candidates to address COVID-19. We mapped the clinical trials related to COVID-19 registered at These data were used to prepare a survey questionnaire about treatments and vaccine candidates for COVID-19. In May 2020, a global survey was conducted with authors of recent scientific publications indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection related to viruses, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, coronaviruses, and COVID-19. Remdesivir, immunoglobulin from cured patients, and plasma were considered to be the most promising treatments in May 2020, while ChAdOx1 and mRNA-1273 were considered to be the most promising vaccine candidates. Almost two-thirds of the respondents (766/1219, 62.8%) believed that vaccines for COVID-19 were likely to be available in the next 18 months. Slightly fewer than 25% (289/1219, 23.7%) believed that a vaccine was feasible, but probably not within 18 months. The issues addressed in this study are constantly evolving; therefore, the current state of knowledge has changed since the survey was conducted. However, for several months after the survey, the respondents’ expectations were in line with recent results related to treatments and vaccine candidates for COVID-19.

Author(s): Bernardo Pereira Cabral, Luiza Braga, Fabio Mota
Organization(s): Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Federal University of Bahia, Fluminense Federal University
Year: 2021

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