Recent Blog Articles

Will there be a COVID-19 vaccine?

Updated: August 01, 2020

Ask the doctor

a9237181-a803-481f-881e-b1cdb614e691Q. Will we have a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 and, if so, when?

A. I'm optimistic because never in human history has so much scientific time and effort been spent trying to make a vaccine. But it won't it be easy. As fast as possible, the vaccine scientists need to prove, first, that a vaccine is safe (minimal side effects) and, second, that it works to reduce a person's risk of getting the disease. Then they need to produce enough of it to immunize most of the 7.6 billion people on earth. Doing all of this within two to three years of a new virus being discovered would be an unprecedented achievement.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.