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The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 that emerged in December 2019 in China resulted in over 7.8 million infections and over 430,000 deaths worldwide, imposing an urgent need for rapid development of an efficient and cost-effective vaccine, suitable for mass immunization. Here, we generated a replication competent recombinant VSV-ΔG-spike vaccine, in which the glycoprotein of VSV was replaced by the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2. In vitro characterization of the recombinant VSV-∆G-spike indicated expression and presentation of the spike protein on the viral membrane with antigenic similarity to SARS-CoV-2. A golden Syrian hamster in vivo model for COVID-19 was implemented. We show that vaccination of hamsters with recombinant VSV-ΔG-spike results in rapid and potent induction of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Importantly, single-dose vaccination was able to protect hamsters against SARS-CoV-2 challenge, as demonstrated by the abrogation of body weight loss of the immunized hamsters compared to unvaccinated hamsters. Furthermore, whereas lungs of infected hamsters displayed extensive tissue damage and high viral titers, immunized hamsters lungs showed only minor lung pathology, and no viral load. Taken together, we suggest recombinant VSV-ΔG-spike as a safe, efficacious and protective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 infection. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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