BioScience Trends. 2021;15(2):64-73. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2021.01061)

COVID-19 vaccine research focusses on safety, efficacy, immunoinformatics, and vaccine production and delivery: a bibliometric analysis based on VOSviewer

Chen YM, Cheng LY, Lian RN, Song ZW, Tian JH


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has affected tens of millions of people globally since it was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020. There is an urgent need for safe and effective preventive vaccines to curb this pandemic. A growing amount of related research has been published. This study aimed to provide the current status of COVID-19 vaccine using bibliometric analysis. We searched and MEDLINE comprehensively and included articles, articles in press, reviews, short surveys, conference abstracts and conference papers about COVID-19 vaccine. VOSviewer1.6.11 (Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands) was applied to perform the bibliometric analysis of these papers. A total of 1,312 papers were finally included. The BMJ has been the most popular journal in this field. The United States maintained a top position worldwide and has provided a pivotal influence, followed by China, India and United Kingdom. Among all the institutions, Harvard University was regarded as a leader for research collaboration. We analyzed the keywords and identified seven COVID-19 vaccine research hotspot clusters. COVID-19 vaccine research hotspots focus on clinical trials on vaccine safety and efficacy, research on vaccine immunology and immunoinformatics, and vaccine hesitancy. Our analysis results demonstrated that cooperation between countries, institutions, and authors were insufficient. The results suggested that clinical trials on vaccine safety, efficacy, immunology, immunoinformatics, production and delivery are research hotspots. Furthermore, we can predict that there will be a lot of research focusing on vaccine adverse reactions.

KEYWORDS: COVID-19, vaccine, bibliometric analysis, VOSviewer

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