What is the current status of COVID-19 vaccine development?

Bottom Line:

Five different organizations are in the early stages of testing their COVID-19 vaccine in humans (i.e. phase I clinical trials), which may be ready for use in early 2021.


Le, T. T. et al. The COVID-19 vaccine development landscape. Nature (2020). DOI: 10.1038/d41573-020-00073-5

Date Published:

9 April 2020


COVID-19 vaccine development is occurring rapidly at an international level. Currently, as of April 8, 2020, there are a total 115 vaccine candidates. Five of these vaccines have moved forward into the first stage of human testing (i.e. phase I clinical trials). Most vaccine development efforts are in North America (46%) and China (18%). A COVID-19 vaccine is estimated to be ready for emergency use in early 2021, which is much faster than traditional vaccine development, which takes an average of over 10 years. However, due to the speed of vaccine development, there may be more risks associated with its use. Once a vaccine becomes available, of note is the importance of international coordination to ensure its equitable distribution among all affected areas, including those with low resources.

Summary by: Jackie Tsang