The first late-stage trials of a Lyme disease vaccine in 20 years would be a milestone, Pfizer and Valneva, a French pharmaceutical company, have announced that they will be recruiting 6,000 participants for a late-stage clinical trial of a vaccine aimed to protect against Lyme disease, which is transmitted by ticks. The drugmakers made the announcement on Monday.
If the development of the vaccine is successful, it may become the first inoculation against Lyme disease in the United States to be granted approval by the federal government since 2002, when the manufacturer of Lymerix withdrew the drug from the market due to poor sales
“You’re sterilising the tick,” one reviewer gushed about Lymerix, which was hailed as a “unique” innovation at the time.
“Providing a new option for people to help protect themselves from the disease is more important,” Annaliesa Anderson, the head of vaccine development at Pfizer, said in a news release. “With increasing global rates of Lyme disease, providing a new option for people to help protect themselves from the disease is more important.”
Adults as well as children older than 5 will make up the participant pool. They will be given a placebo or three doses of the candidate vaccine, which is known as VLA15. After that, they will either receive one booster dose of the vaccine or another placebo. According to the drugmakers, the research will be carried out in as many as fifty locations around the world where Lyme disease is “particularly endemic,” including the United States of America, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden.
According to the firms, they might potentially submit the vaccine for clearance to authorities in the United States and Europe in 2025, although this is contingent upon the trials being completed successfully.
Lyme disease has been found in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, despite the fact that it is generally more frequent in New England. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease affects around 476,000 people each year in the United States and causes them to seek medical treatment. Justin Bieber, a prominent member of the pop music industry, disclosed in the year 2020 that he had been diagnosed with Lyme illness. Avril Lavigne, a popular singer from Canada, has also discussed her battles with Lyme disease and the complications it causes.
A rash, a fever, chills, a headache, weariness, aches and pains in the muscles and joints, and swollen lymph nodes are among the early signs.
Infections can result in permanent damage to joints or cause facial palsy, sometimes known as drooping of the face, and while Lyme disease can be treated efficiently and quickly with medications, these complications are still possible. In approximately one out of every one hundred instances, it can result in Lyme carditis, which is brought on when the bacteria that cause Lyme disease infiltrate the heart tissues. Between the years 1985 and 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documented 11 fatal instances of Lyme carditis.
According to the CDC, ticks with blacklegged legs are the vectors for Lyme disease. Insects can attach themselves to several parts of the human body, even those that are difficult to observe, such as the groyne, armpits, and scalp. After that, they bite, injecting the germs that cause Lyme disease into their hosts. According to the CDC, in order for the germs to be spread, the insects must have been connected to the body for a period of at least 36 to 48 hours.
There is no indication that the Lyme disease may be passed from human to human through contact with other people or from animals to humans. Ticks can be accidentally brought into yards or homes by dogs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).