Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
The World Health Organization (www.who.int) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) have published important information regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 is the disease caused by a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. WHO first learned of this new virus on 31 December 2019, following a report of a cluster of cases of ‘viral pneumonia’ in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China.
Information on vaccines
The world is in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic. As WHO and partners work together on the response — tracking the pandemic, advising on critical interventions, distributing vital medical supplies to those in need— they are racing to develop and deploy safe and effective vaccines.
Vaccines save millions of lives each year. Vaccines work by training and preparing the body’s natural defenses – the immune system – to recognize and fight off the viruses and bacteria they target. After vaccination, if the body is later exposed to those disease-causing germs, the body is immediately ready to destroy them, preventing illness.
There are several safe and effective vaccines that prevent people from getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. This is one part of managing COVID-19, in addition to the main preventive measures of staying at least 1 meter away from others, covering a cough or sneeze in your elbow, frequently cleaning your hands, wearing a mask and avoiding poorly ventilated rooms or opening a window.
As of 3 June 2021, WHO has evaluated that the following vaccines against COVID-19 have met the necessary criteria for safety and efficacy:
Read the Q&A on the Emergency Use Listing process to find out more about how WHO assesses the quality, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.
Stay informed: Protect yourself: advice for the public