COVID-19 vaccines: latest on research

A vaccine could dramatically slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), and researchers are collaborating like never before to develop one in record time. Without a vaccine, distributed equitably all over the world, we could face recurring waves of the epidemic.

When will a vaccine be ready?

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. However, while vaccines typically take up to a decade to develop and license, it may be possible to deliver a coronavirus vaccine in as little as a year. This is because research is happening at incredible speed with researchers, developers and funders collaborating to streamline the process.

There are more than 100 possible COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development. And some of the cutting-edge methods used during this outbreak could revolutionise vaccine development in future.

Explainers

Charlie Weller, head of Wellcome's vaccine programme, answers some key questions about a COVID-19 vaccine.

How we're supporting research

We’re supporting global vaccine research and development efforts through CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations

CEPI is currently funding the development of nine COVID-19 vaccines. Several are already in phase 1 clinical trials – beginning just two months after the coronavirus was genetically sequenced. 

Vaccines for everyone

Greater investment is still needed to support the COVID-19 vaccine process, from research and development to manufacturing and delivery – to make sure that if an effective vaccine is discovered, there is enough available for everyone who needs it. 

There will be huge demand from countries around the world, and any new COVID-19 vaccines must first be made available to those who need them most, not just those who can afford to buy them.

Organisations like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF and the World Health Organization will play a vital role in ensuring access to a COVID-19 vaccine alongside the life-saving vaccines we already have. 

Opinion

More opinion

Read more articles on COVID-19.

Contact us

To contact someone in the team, email vaccines@wellcome.ac.uk.

See who’s who in the vaccines team