How did we get a COVID vaccine if there’s not one for HIV?

Health care workers answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Jason Villarreal, MSN, RN, NP-BC explains how COVID and HIV are different viruses, and why we were able to develop the COVID vaccines first.

We’ve had HIV for almost 40 years, and we still don’t have a vaccine. And, that’s a very interesting discussion I think that a lot of people have been having. You know, there’s a whole lot of politics around that. One of the differences with COVID versus HIV is just the sheer amount of money that’s been thrown at trying to get a COVID vaccine. And, the sad reality is the HIV tends to affect certain communities more than others.

And, you know, globally it’s been hard sometimes, in some times and places to get that kind of political will up versus with COVID, it doesn’t matter. Any country, any person of any, anybody can get it very, very, very, very, very easily. And, it’s quickly deadly. It can be quickly deadly. So, I think that people are right to ask that question, and then I say, “You know, I wish that, I wish that there was that same money and effort thrown into HIV vaccines. Because then, maybe, we might have one by now.” But it’s a question that I think of, of that kind of resources being put to it.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decisions. Click here for vaccine FAQs from the CDC.

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