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LymeNet Vaccine
Frequently Asked Questions


Due to overwhelming demand for
information about the Lyme disease vaccine,
LymeNet has compiled the following
vaccine-related FAQs:




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Abstracts:

1. Is the vaccine 100% effective?
2. What are the side effects?
3. Can anyone receive the vaccine?
4. Why won't LymeNet encourage the public to get vaccinated?
5. Why then won't LymeNet take a stand against the vaccine?
6. Have any of the volunteer staff of LymeNet been vaccinated?
7. Where can I get more detailed information?
8. Where can I get information from the manufacturer?



1. Is the vaccine 100% effective?

No. You can still get Lyme disease even if you have received all three injections. According to the manufacturer, the vaccine will help you reduce your risk of infection but is not entirely protective.



2. What are the side effects?

Most of the side effects are flu-like symptoms, as well as pain at the injection site, dizziness, headache, and muscle pain.



3. Can anyone receive the vaccine?

While the manufacturer claims any adult age 15 to 70 may be vaccinated, they explicitly excluded patients with the following conditions from their clinical trial: chronic joint or neurological illness related to Lyme disease, diseases associated with joint swelling (including rheumatoid arthritis) or muscle pain, second or third degree AV block (a heart condition) or pacemaker. Therefore, it is not known how these patients will react to the vaccine.



4. Why won't LymeNet encourage the public to get vaccinated?

It is too early to know if this vaccine will benefit the general public. Even though the US Food and Drug Administration has approved the vaccine for general use, several prominent Lyme disease researchers have warned that vaccinating certain genetically susceptible individuals may cause them to develop chronic Lyme disease symptoms. LymeNet has received many anecdotal reports of serious adverse events associated with the vaccine. Until we receive further information on the situation, we cannot encourage vaccination.



5. Why then won't LymeNet take a stand against the vaccine?

Again, we don't have enough information to make that call. Widespread vaccination has the potential of eliminating Lyme disease from the public health landscape. We enthusiastically endorse that objective. Until we have more information, we cannot make a blanket recommendation.



6. Have any of the volunteer staff of LymeNet been vaccinated?

No.



7. Where can I get more detailed information?

LymeNet has compiled a position paper on the vaccine. It can be accessed at:
http://www2.LymeNet.org/domino/file.nsf/UID/VaccinePosition



8. Where can I get information from the manufacturer?

LYMErix information can be obtained from SmithKline Beecham at:
http://www.lymerix.com



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