The COVID-19 pandemic is inflicting huge human and economic costs on the European Union and on the world in general.
A vaccine is our best bet to help us overcome this pandemic, even if there is no guarantee that an effective vaccine can be developed.
The scale of the crisis means that time pressure is unprecedented: every month gained in the deployment of a vaccine will save many lives, many jobs and many billions of euros.
Vaccine development is highly complex and usually takes around 10 years, but the European Commission and EU agencies are making every effort to accelerate research and development and to shorten assessment times. These efforts hope to allow the authorisation of COVID-19 vaccines within only 12-18 months, if not less.
The EU Vaccine Strategy launched by the European Commission intends to ensure qualitative, safe and efficacious vaccines, and to secure swift access to them for Member States and their populations. Moreover, the Strategy reflects the global solidarity effort and ensures equitable access to an affordable vaccine as early as possible.
As part of this effort, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is in discussion with the developers of several potential COVID-19 vaccines.
All regulatory decisions concerning the authorisation of vaccines must be underpinned by sufficiently robust data to ensure patient safety and vaccine effectiveness.
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