Gregory A. Poland, M.D., Vaccine Research Group, Mayo Clinic: You can protect your dog in the United States against Lyme disease, but you can’t protect you or your children with a vaccine.
Ian Roth: Dr. Gregory Poland, director the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group, says there was a vaccine for humans, but it was withdrawn.
Dr. Poland: The primary reason is there was immense antivaccine sentiment about the vaccine, much like we had with measles vaccine. It’s illogical.
Ian Roth: It’s the bite of an infected blacklegged tick or deer tick that’s responsible for making so many people sick with Lyme disease.
Dr. Poland: There are probably about 300,000 new cases a year.
Ian Roth: There are no plans at this time for a new Lyme vaccine in the U.S., but there is good news. A vaccine, VLA15, is being developed in Europe.
Dr. Poland: They’ve been through phase 2 testing. Now they’ll do phase 3 clinical testing, which means they go to the FDA, get approval, and they’ll do very large studies.
Ian Roth: Dr. Poland says it might take five years or more before a Lyme disease vaccine is ready for humans. Until then, it’s important to be tick smart.
For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I’m Ian Roth.