A New Lyme Disease Vaccine is Being Developed With Maine’s Help
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
It's been 20 years since there's been a Lyme disease vaccine.
The Bangor Daily News reported that not only is a Lyme disease vaccine being worked on, but Mainers can be part of the clinical trials later this year. Northern Light Health is working with Pfizer to come up with a new vaccine. They want as many people as possible to be part of the clinical trials later this year. I contacted the CDC to find out how to be a part of those trials but it's through the manufacturer. It's too early in the process.
It's been 20 years since there was a vaccine for Lyme disease. Yes, there was a vaccine. But bad press about arthritis as a side effect and low demand had it pulled. The demand is up, and well - side effects are unknown until the vaccine is created. Maine was tapped for clinical trials because we have one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in the country.
Maine has been averaging about 1600 cases of Lyme disease a year. The vaccine is underway and is in the second phase of clinical trials. That expands the age group from 18 to 65 to include 5 to 17 years of age. Clinical trials have shown that the vaccine from 1998 reduced Lyme by 80% in adults. Which is great news. That doesn't mean you still shouldn't check for ticks, because they transmit more than just Lyme. Also, most cases of Lyme can be treated with a few weeks of antibiotics. But if left untreated or misdiagnosed, it can spread to your joints, heart, and nervous system.
If this gets approved for wide use, it could be a game-changer for next summer!