The History of the Lyme Vaccine

  • Old Lyme Sees Lyme Outbreak

    Lyme was first seen and described in 1977 as “Lyme arthritis” after a cluster of cases was reported in Old Lyme, Connecticut.
  • Bacteria for Lyme Determined

    In 1982, the agent bacteria of Lyme disease was discovered by Willy Burgdorfer, who isolated spirochetes belonging to the bacteria from the mid-guts of Ixodes ticks.
  • Period: to

    Increase in Reported Cases

    The number of reported Lyme cases in the United States increased by 32 times.
  • VICP Established

    On October 1, 1988, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1988 created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP was established to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines, stabilize vaccine costs and establish and maintain an accessible and efficient forum for individuals found to be injured by certain vaccines.
  • GlaxoSmithKline Develops Lyme Vaccine

    The first and only licensed vaccine against Lyme disease was called LYMERix and was developed by GlaxoSmithKline. The recombinate druge was given in a three-dose series and stimulated antibodies that attacked the Lyme bacteria in the tick’s gut as it fed on the human host. It was about 78% effective in protecting against Lyme infection.
  • Period: to

    LYMERix Distributed

    About 1.5 million doses of the LYMERix vaccine were distrbuted during this time.
  • LYMERix Recalled

    After people filed lawsuits against the manufacturer on the grounds that the vaccine caused Lyme-like debilitating symptoms (mostly arthritic), GSK withdrew the drug from the market.
  • Trials of Vaccine to Protect Against All Strains Published

    Funded by Baxter, Inc. and headed by a team of researchers from Stony Brooke University and Brookhaven National Laboratory, a new vaccine to protect against all strains of the Lyme bacteria was developed. The results from the clinical trials were reported in the "Lancet of Infectious Diseases" and are currently undergoing the process of FDA-approval.
  • Oral Vaccine for White-Footed Mice Developed

    The results from a five-year field trial conducted by Maria Gomes-Solecki of the University of Tennessee in Memphis and co-founder of the company U.S. Biologic of a new oral vaccine against Lyme in mice appeared to significantly reduce the count of infected ticks in the treated areas and indicate a subsequently lower risk for human infection.