Doctors working to develop vaccine for Lyme disease

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Lyme disease is one of the most common diseases transmitted by an insect bite. Doctors say it’s prevalent here in western New York, and no one is immune. There are also no vaccines for it.  

Rochester Clinical Research is trying to change that. 

Clinical trials are underway to help develop a Lyme disease vaccine for children. 

As the weather warms, we spend more time outside. The tick population continues to grow. One of them could be carrying the bacteria that causes Lyme diseaseĀ 

It may look inviting – especially on a nice day. But, areas full of tall grass and lots of leaves are the perfect breeding ground for all types of ticks. Doctors at Rochester Clinical research are currently helping to develop a pediatric Lyme disease vaccine with one well known drug manufacturer.

“They’re pushing to have a Lyme vaccine ready in the next year for FDA approval,” says Doctor Matthew Davis. “We’ve already done the adult work on it, and now they’re just looking to do kids under 17 to see that it’s both safe, and effective in that age range.”

People with Lyme disease often experience symptoms including joint pain, fever, fatigue, and headaches. Doctor Matthew Davis tells News10NBC, there’s no vaccine right now to prevent it. 

“There was a Lyme disease vaccine available back in the 1990s, early 2000s, and there didn’t seem to be enough interest in it,” says Davis. “So the manufacture withdrew it from the market. This is really an improvement on the pre-existing Lyme vaccine.”

Doctor Davis explains how the vaccine works.

“When the tick bites you, the antibodies are drawn up out of your blood, into the tick’s body, and kills the bacteria inside the tick before it can actually be transmitted.”

So far, 270 children are part of the the clinical trial. The goal is to reach 300 participants.

“Often we’ll find three or four siblings will come in at a time to do the trial,” says Davis. “So that’s more helpful finding one person here, one person there.”

To learn more about the clinical trial, click here.