Lyme disease vaccine for humans: Would you trust it?

Lyme disease vaccine for humans being given to male patient

It has been 18 years since GlaxoSmithKlein pulled its preventative Lyme disease vaccine for humans, known as LYMErix, from the market. Now, a new vaccine is currently in Stage 2 clinical trials. This vaccine is also derived, in part, from the same OspA bacterial protein found in LYMErix. This begs the question: Will a new Lyme disease vaccine succeed or suffer the same fate as LYMErix?

LYMErix was reportedly effective at preventing a Lyme disease rash. But the vaccine was only 50% effective at preventing other manifestations of Lyme disease, according to the LYMErix package insert. LYMErix was voluntarily removed from the market due to low demand.

In a survey of 1,015 adults in the U.S., author Matt Motta¹ addresses the question of whether growing concern over climate change and the spread of tick-borne illnesses could increase public acceptance and use of a new Lyme disease vaccine for humans.

Survey respondents were asked, “how likely they are to request to be vaccinated when a Lyme vaccine becomes available for public use?”

The results indicated that “climate change concern is positively and significantly (B = 1.36, p < 0.01) associated with increased vaccination intentions,” the author writes.

Not surprisingly, survey findings showed, “Individuals who live in the Northeast, where Lyme is most prevalent, are more likely to intend to vaccinate (B = 1.35, p < 0.01), while people who place less trust in scientific authorities like the CDC are less likely to do so (B = À1.81, p < 0.01).”

Survey results, however, don’t guarantee the new Lyme disease vaccine for humans will be embraced by the public, writes Mott.

He describes several reasons why LYMErix was removed from the market:

“Low demand for LYMErix may have arisen from several factors, including its cost and the fact that it must be administered in two or three doses to reach high levels of effectiveness.”

“Misinformation about the vaccine’s safety – including the scientifically disputed claim that it can have adverse autoimmune effects – have also been linked to the vaccine being discontinued.”

  1. Motta M. Could concern about climate change increase demand for a Lyme disease vaccine in the U.S.? Vaccine. 2020.
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2 Replies to "Lyme disease vaccine for humans: Would you trust it?"

  • lou
    09/21/2020 (11:43 am)

    Some people were required to get the previous vaccine because they had outdoor occupations. They had no choice.

    Also, there was documented, published damage from that vaccine. In fact, current makers of lyme vaccines have said they removed those elements that caused an autoimmune condition. That is the opposite of the claims that anti-vaxxers and false claims were to blame.

  • Bev
    09/19/2020 (3:31 pm)

    I would love to see a vaccine for those who are already suffering immensely from this horrible disease. People are not going to take a vaccine to prevent something that most people don’t understand. The only people who understand this disease are those who have been suffering for many years. I’m 62 and have had it for 32 years. I had 6 attachments. All filled on my pillow. I remember it well. But dismissed it because Lyme disease was not even being talked about. This is a neurological mess. My life is pretty much over.

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