Beyond the Headlines: How Covid-19 mRNA research could cure HIV and cancer

The drive to produce vaccines to fight the pandemic could open the way for jabs against other diseases

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Within months of the emergence of coronavirus in late 2019 drug companies around the world were racing for a vaccine.

Within a year, shots were being delivered into people’s arms.

Read full story: How mRNACovid-19 vaccines could mean HIV cures and anti-cancer jabs

The speed at which the world developed not one but several different Covid-19 vaccines in seemingly record time has thrown into sharp relief other vaccine programmes that have toiled for years with no final breakthrough.

HIV, the virus that causes Aids, kills nearly 700,000 people every year, but has outwitted vaccine developers for more than three decades.

Even regular influenzas can be deadly and our tools to stop it are very limited.

But now, there is renewed hope that this could change – and that may be thanks to the work on Covid-19 vaccines. On this week's Beyond the Headlines, host James Haines-Young delves into how Covid-19 vaccines have already shaken up the drug industry and how what we are learning now could one day lead to tailor-made treatment for almost any ailment.