Strategic Priorities for COVID-19 Research

The NIH-Wide COVID-19 Strategic Plan (PDF | 3.4 MB) provides a framework for expediting testing, therapies, and vaccines for COVID-19.

Priority 1: Improve Fundamental Knowledge

of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 disease progression, outcomes, and recovery

Priority 2: Advance Research to Improve Detection

by developing and validating new assays and retooling existing diagnostic platforms

Priority 3: Support to Advance Treatment

by evaluating new or repurposing existing treatments and defining implementation strategies

Priority 4: Accelerate Research to Improve Prevention

by developing vaccines, other methods to prevent transmission, and implementation models

Priority 5: Prevent and Redress Poor COVID-19 Outcomes

in health disparity and vulnerable populations

NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research

Explore the plans to accelerate the development of therapeutic interventions, vaccines, and diagnostics.

Explore NIH COVID-19 Resources by Topic

Find COVID-19 research information and resources by topic from NIH institutes and centers.

A Timeline of NIH's Response

As the pandemic has evolved, so have NIH’s response and strategies. Learn how our response has developed over time and how NIH continues to speed development of new testing, treatments, and vaccines while also supporting research on SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes, COVID-19.


December 18, 2020

After thorough evaluation, the FDA authorizes the NIH-Moderna vaccine for emergency use for people 18 years of age and older.

Read the news release


December 16, 2020

NIH launches Pediatric Research Immune Network on SARS-CoV-2 and MIS-C (PRISM) study to evaluate health outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 in children.

Read the news release


December 15, 2020

An NIH-funded COVID-19 home test, developed with support from the RADx initiative, receives emergency use authorization from the FDA.
(Ellume USA photo)

Read the news release

December 14, 2020

The first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine — developed with clinical trial support from NIH — are administered in the United States under emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

November 20, 2020

NIH expands research to improve COVID-19 testing among underserved and vulnerable populations.

Read the press release


November 16, 2020

NIH announces promising interim results from clinical trial of NIH–Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Read the press release

September 10, 2020

NIH launches two Phase 3 clinical trials testing blood-clotting treatments for COVID-19 as part of the ACTIV initiative.

Read the press release


July 8, 2020

NIH launches the COVID-19 Prevention Network, a clinical trials network to test COVID-19 vaccines and other prevention tools.

Learn more

May 15, 2020

The U.S. government launches a coordinated effort to enable faster approval and production of COVID-19 vaccines.


April 29, 2020

NIH launches the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADxSM) initiative to speed innovation leading to reliable diagnostic testing.

Learn more about RADx


April 17, 2020

NIH launches the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) initiative, a public–private partnership focused on developing treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

Learn more about ACTIV

March 27, 2020

The United States passes the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill. The CARES Act includes $940 million for NIH. Additional government funding allocated to NIH at later dates.


March 11, 2020

The World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic.

Read the speech

January 31, 2020

The United States declares a public health emergency.

Read the press release

January 13, 2020

NIH and Moderna finalize the design of a vaccine candidate and begin working to produce it.

Learn more


January 10, 2020

The genetic sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is released.