COVID Vaccine Update: What To Know As FDA Approves Moderna, J&J Boosters, Mix-and-Match Jabs Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna is working with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), a non profit scientific research organization to carry out clinical trial of its experimental HIV vaccine. The trial named, "IAVI G002" uses the same kind of mRNA technology found in Moderna's COVID-19 jab, the company announced in a news release Thursday.

The pharmeceutical and biotechnology company previously released a statement saying that 56 healthy, HIV-negative adult volunteers will take part in the clinical trial to study the vaccine's efficacy. The 48 volunteers will be getting one or two doses of the mRNA vaccine, 32 of which will also get the booster. The remaining eight people will only get the booster vaccine alone. Everyone will be monitored for up to 6 months after receiving a final dose.

On Thursday, the first vaccination participants enrolled at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC. Phase I clinical trials will also be conducted at the Hope Clinic of Emory Vaccine Center in Atlanta, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The vaccine is created to prompt white blood cells to turn into antibodies that can neutralize HIV to induce an immune response. A booster shot to work with the HIV vaccine is also being studied.

The trial is titled "IAVI G002," developed by IAVI, a nonprofit scientific research organization and Scripps Research, led by Dr. William Schief. According to the news release, they will be delivered using the same messenger RNA (mRNA) technology used in Moderna's coronavirus vaccine, the release added.

For a long time, HIV has managed to live in the human body as scientists have not been able to develop a vaccine, though they have made some advancements in treatments. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 37.7 million people in the world had HIV in 2020. HIV can lead to AIDS, which can be severe.

"We are tremendously excited to be advancing this new direction in HIV vaccine design with Moderna's mRNA platform," Mark Feinberg, MD, president and CEO of IAVI, stated in the news release. "The search for an HIV vaccine has been long and challenging, and having new tools in terms of immunogens and platforms could be the key to making rapid progress toward an urgently needed, effective HIV vaccine."

Moderna shots
Moderna, "out of an abundance of caution," has ultimately decided to put on hold the lot and two adjacent ones, falling under three lot numbers 3004667, 3004734, and 3004956, with foreign substances confirmed in at least 39 vials. This is a representational image. Getty Images

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