The developers - Pfizer and BioNTech - described it as a "great day for science and humanity".
Their vaccine has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries and no safety concerns have been raised.
The companies plan to apply for emergency approval to use the vaccine by the end of the month.
A vaccine - alongside better treatments - is seen as the best way of getting out of the restrictions that have been imposed on all our lives.
There are around a dozen in the final stages of testing - known as a phase 3 trial - but this is the first to show any results.
It uses a completely experimental approach - that involves injecting part of the virus's genetic code - in order to train the immune system.