Lyme disease has become the bane of most outdoors folks’ existence over the pasts few years – each spring there seems to be more and more ticks in the tall grass and woods surrounding Ottawa, and a higher and higher percentage of them are found to be carrying the debilitating and often prolonged and protracted disease.

“Tick checks” have become a regular part of most peoples’ outings.

The evil tick, carrier of Lyme disease.
The evil tick, carrier of Lyme disease.

Well good news is on the horizon: French drug maker Valneva has announced that they’ve successfully completed their human trial of a vaccine against the disease. The vaccine, which is reportedly up to 96% effective, might soon be available in the UK and US at a “reasonably low” price.

The vaccine typically works by kickstarting the immune system to produce antibodies that attack the bacteria hiding inside the insect, preventing them from entering the human blood. According to trials, the vaccine has been found to be between 71.4% and 96.4% effective.

Things seem to bode well for this vaccine, as there are no significant side effects associated with it so far. The vaccine is available for adults or children as young as 2. After the vaccine is administered first, a booster dose is administered 13 months later, to improve effectiveness.

It might still be a little while before the drug is on the market, but this is a great first step towards maybe reclaiming our wild areas from this annoyingly dangerous invasive bug. I’ll keep an eye out for more updates and be sure to keep everyone posted!

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