Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first reported in late 2019 in China and is the causative agent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. To mitigate the effects of the virus on public health, the economy and society, a vaccine is urgently needed. Here I review the development of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. Development was initiated when the genetic sequence of the virus became available in early January 2020, and has moved at an unprecedented speed: a phase I trial started in March 2020 and there are currently more than 180 vaccines at various stages of development. Data from phase I and phase II trials are already available for several vaccine candidates, and many have moved into phase III trials. The data available so far suggest that effective and safe vaccines might become available within months, rather than years.