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Mayo Clinic Minute: Will there be a Lyme disease vaccine for humans?

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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 Gregory Poland, director the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group, says there was a vaccine for humans, but it was withdrawn.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.

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