A COVID‑19 vaccine is a vaccine intended to provide acquired immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019. Prior to the COVID‑19 pandemic, an established body of knowledge existed about the structure and function of coronaviruses causing diseases like severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome. This knowledge accelerated the development of various vaccine platforms during early 2020. The initial focus of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines was on preventing symptomatic, often severe illness. In January 2020, the SARS-CoV-2 genetic sequence data was shared through GISAID, and by March 2020, the global pharmaceutical industry announced a major commitment to address COVID‑19. In 2020, the first COVID‑19 vaccines were developed and made available to the public through emergency authorizations and conditional approvals.