The COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted loss of human life, serious illness, and social and economic disruption across the European Union (EU) and worldwide. Safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19 can protect individuals from becoming ill, especially healthcare professionals and vulnerable populations, such as older people and people with long-term diseases.
The European Commission and EU agencies have supported the accelerated research and development of COVID-19 vaccines.
This ensures that these vaccines become available as early as possible, once they have been proven to be safe and effective.
The EU strategy for COVID-19 vaccines, launched by the European Commission:
- ensures high quality, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines;
- secures rapid access to these vaccines for Member States and their populations.
This strategy reflects the global solidarity effort that is ensuring equitable access to affordable vaccines.
The European Commission also set out key preparedness elements for Member States to take into consideration for their COVID-19 vaccination strategies. For full details, see Preparedness for COVID-19 vaccination strategies and vaccine deployment.
For more general information on vaccination see:
The EU is responsible for ensuring that safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines reach the public in the EU/EEA. The European Commission authorised the first COVID-19 vaccine on 21 December 2020, after an evaluation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and consultation with the EU Member States.
COVID-19 is the disease associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). SARS-CoV-2 is a new strain of coronavirus that had not been identified in humans prior to December 2019. There are different types of coronaviruses and, although they mostly circulate among animals, some can also infect humans.