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Will a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine that induces a broadly neutralizing antibody response be approved for use in the United States or European Union before 2022?

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus is a novel betacoronavirus that likely emerged late last year from an animal reservoir in China. There is little to no pre-existing immunity against it in the human population. The clinical picture for the disease it causes, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), ranges from very mild to fatal. The virus is highly transmissible and has spread globally.

As of 20 March 2020, the WHO (World Health Organization) is reporting that it is tracking the development of forty-four SARS-CoV-2 candidate vaccines.

One novel approach that has not yet been extensively explored in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development is the inducing of a broadly neutralizing antibody (bnAb) response. bnAbs are antibodies that bind to conserved epitopes on the surface proteins of viruses, meaning that they are still able to bind to a virus to which they are targeted even if said virus undergoes substantial mutation. The use of bnAbs in vaccine development is currently being employed in the search for a HIV vaccine. However, it has been suggested that the use of bnAbs may also be a useful approach in development of vaccines for other pathogens.

This question asks: Will a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine that induces a broadly neutralizing antibody response be approved for use in the United States or European Union before 2022?

Resolution will be determined via the first relevant press release made by the FDA, EMA, or European Commission regarding the approval of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine that induces a broadly neutralizing antibody response. In the United States, approval means that the vaccine candidate has been licensed by the FDA. In the European Union, approval means that the EMA has recommended the vaccine candidate for approval and the European Commission has granted that approval via marketing authorization. Approval under any other emergency procedures, such as expanded access, would not count.

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