Written by By Lindsay Ellis, CNN
A new HIV vaccine developed by scientists at the University of Michigan and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has received final approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to be used as boosters for the existing COVID-19 vaccine (short for CIVIVAN), according to a release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Introduced in 2015, COVID-19 was designed to protect adolescents and adults against the virus, but some medical professionals and public health officials had voiced concern that the vaccine could lead to side effects, which could be significant, if not deadly, to patients with compromised immune systems, such as those with HIV-related illnesses, or seniors who are on organ dialysis.
COVID-19 is the second HIV vaccine to receive final approval by the FDA to be used as boosters, joining GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) RV144, which received approval in 2016 to be used to protect children, adolescents and adults. The CDC recommends that everyone who is 13 or older should receive a booster in order to ensure full protection.
Even with these new vaccines on the market, only about one in four individuals infected with HIV are treated for HIV.
COVID-19 uses an inactivated vaccine vaccine known as CREV0043, which can create antibodies that protect against a range of human viruses and diseases. Researchers created the vaccine based on specific cells found in an uninfected individual’s immune system.
The vaccine has been shown to be able to prevent HIV infection in a series of clinical trials, and early trials have provided positive results in older adults with HIV infection.
There are currently no approved HIV vaccines for use in children. The CDC recommends that HIV vaccine test equipment should be provided to public health clinics.