What the Recent HIV Vaccine Research Findings Really Mean - Yahoo Entertainment
Apr 15, 2021 1 min, 59 secs
During the development and testing of the current Covid-19 vaccines, people followed the different phases of the clinical trials like an early season of American Idol.

The short version is that this was the first clinical trial conducted on humans to successfully utilize an approach that primes the immune system to develop a specific type of antibody — a key component of a future HIV vaccine.

This helps explain — at least from a scientific perspective — why researchers were able to develop multiple effective Covid-19 vaccines in less than a year, while research into an HIV vaccine has been going for decades?

Anthony Fauci tapped to oversee the more than 80 clinical trial sites developing Covid-19 vaccine candidates during Operation Warp Speed.

The vaccine tested in the IAVI G001 clinical trial was specifically designed to activate certain cells that have the potential to produce bnAbs.

“We have to walk the immune system down this path to make broadly neutralizing antibodies,” Feinberg explains, noting that in 97 percent of the participants who received the vaccine, this approach “worked pretty much exactly the way we wanted it to work.”.

Similarly, Feinberg says that this approach also has the potential to play a role in developing a universal influenza vaccine — as in, one that will work on most strains, making our annual flu shot significantly more effective.

How does Moderna and the Covid-19 vaccine fit into the picture?

Additionally, while Moderna has partnered with the research team to develop and test an mRNA-based vaccine that uses this approach to produce bnAbs, that is for the next step in the process — in other words, research that hasn’t happened yet.

Having said that, moving forward into the next phases of the research into an effective HIV vaccine, the lessons learned and techniques perfected during the development of a Covid-19 vaccine will certainly be an asset.

According to Feinberg, it’s still too early to have any type of timeline for the development of an effective HIV vaccine, but he does note that unlike the Covid-19 vaccines, this process will take more than a year

Throughout the pandemic, Corey says that he’s been worried that — like so many other things — HIV vaccine research would be “buried under Covid.” But now he’s hopeful that moving forward, the increased public awareness of vaccines and their development, thanks to Covid, will ultimately be a boon for HIV vaccine research


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