A double-inactivated, candidate whole virus vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) was developed and manufactured at large scale using fermenter cultures of serum protein free Vero cells. A two step inactivation procedure involving sequential formaldehyde and U.V. inactivation was utilised in order to ensure an extremely high safety margin with respect to residual infectivity. The immunogenicity of this double-inactivated vaccine was characterised in the mouse model. Mice that were immunised twice with the candidate SARS-CoV vaccine developed high antibody titres against the SARS-CoV spike protein and high levels of neutralising antibodies. The use of the adjuvant Al(OH)3 had only a minor effect on the immunogenicity of the vaccine. In addition, cell mediated immunity as measured by interferon-gamma and interleukin-4 stimulation, was elicited by vaccination. Moreover, the vaccine confers protective immunity as demonstrated by prevention of SARS-CoV replication in the respiratory tract of mice after intranasal challenge with SARS-CoV. Protection of mice was correlated to antibody titre against the SARS-CoV S protein and neutralising antibody titre.