covid-19 vaccine clinical trial
(Image: AAP/David Mariuz)

The University of Queensland and CSL have abandoned phase two and three trials of their COVID-19 vaccine after trial participants returned false positives for HIV.

Although there is no possibility the vaccine causes HIV infections, the changes that would need to be made to current procedures to support the vaccine’s rollout were considered too great. The false positives could also deter people from getting a COVID-19 shot.

What happened?

The vaccine was being tested on 216 participants and trials showed it was safe and effective. It uses an HIV protein -- specifically the HIV-1 GP 41 protein -- as the molecular clamp.