Clinical trials are underway in Massachusetts for a yearly injection of a Lyme shot that could prevent the disease.

Here in the State of Maine, tick-borne diseases have become such a concern that Maine CDC has a whole micro-website about its effects in Maine that includes real-time case counts, real-time tick trends, and more information based on the cases of Lyme and other diseases transmitted by ticks in Maine.

This year, Maine CDC is reporting through the Maine Tracking Network website that the real-time amount of Lyme Disease cases stands at 474 cases.

A vaccine was approved by the FDA in 1998, but, despite reducing infections, was pulled from the market due to side effects, complicated injection process, and uncertainty of how long immunity would last with the injection.

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There is one vaccine in development in clinical trials at UMass Medical School's Mass Biologics that actually uses human blood to beat the bacteria in the tick. Initial tests showed effects for several weeks in mice. An antibody was developed to extend the effectiveness and is currently being trialed.

Currently, the clinical trial is in Phase I trials at the only nonprofit manufacturer of vaccines and biologics in the United States. The first phase of the clinical trial is looking to be completed by the end of the year. Phases II and III will follow with the wrap-up of the study looking to be in late 2022, the earliest.

Mainers will be relieved to be able to walk the woods of Maine again without the possibility of Lyme infection but, we'll have to hold out another year or so. We can definitely hang in there.

Find out more about the study published by UMassmed.edu.

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