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We share travel experiences, camp hacks, and new gear discoveries. We also discuss outdoor issues like public lands conservation, sustainable living, and reducing our impact on people and places.
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Lyme Disease Vaccine?
"The complex fall of LYME-rix and what's coming next.
Lyme has become much more common and geographically widespread in the United States. Cases have tripled—at least.
The Food and Drug Administration approved LYMErix, manufactured by SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline), for use in 1998. LYMErix worked by inducing antibodies into human blood, which would then go into any ticks that attached to your body. There, they would neutralize the bacteria that cause Lyme, Borrelia burgdorferi, before the bacteria could go from the tick into you. In clinical trials, the shot showed about 78 percent effectiveness after the required three doses (hey, I’d take it). But some patients who got the shot after it went on the market testified that they developed arthritis after vaccination. The FDA investigated, but decided the evidence that the vaccine was linked to patients’ arthritis wasn’t strong enough to withdraw its approval for LYMErix. Sales fell nonetheless, and the company pulled the vaccine in 2002.
Seen from 2021, this history gives me some hope that the next round of Lyme preventive shots will succeed in making it to market and into my family’s arms. The failure of LYMErix was not just about “anti-vaxxers,” broadly painted, but about a very specific brew of hesitancy—which, at least in part, was fueled by a general unawareness of Lyme."
Full story here.