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Moderna Inc said on Friday it is developing three new vaccines based on the same technology used for its COVID-19 shot, including one for viral infection shingles.

The success of COVID-19 vaccines based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology from Moderna and rival Pfizer has prompted efforts to use the novel technology in other vaccines and therapeutics targeted at hard-to-treat diseases.

Pfizer is also developing an mRNA-based vaccine for shingles and expects to begin clinical trials in the second half of 2022.

If successful, both companies will compete with GlaxoSmithKline's two-dose vaccine Shingrix, which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2017.

Six African countries to get own mRNA jab production

Shingles typically develops in older adults who were infected with chicken pox, or the varicella-zoster virus, when younger. It is characterized by a painful rash that generally clears up within a month.

Moderna's shingles vaccine is being developed to target the varicella-zoster virus.

The company is also developing a cancer vaccine and a shot against the herpes simplex virus-2, which causes genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease.

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