In 1998, the LYMErix vaccine was released by SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline). It was a three-part vaccine that was discovered to be efficiency is about 76% against Borrelia burgdorferi, a cork-shaped spirochete bacteria that causes Lyme disease. It’s for people 15 to 70 years old who live or work in areas with a high prevalence of Lyme disease.
LYMErix vaccine causes the immune system to make antibodies against B. burgdorferi– specifically against a protein on the outer surface of bacteria called the outer surface protein A (OspA). These Lyme-killing antibodies work in a unique way: When a flea bites a vaccinated person, it eats the person’s blood and antibodies, enters the flea’s gut, where the antibodies This destroys the bacteria before it enters the human body.
So what is the problem? Soon after the vaccine was introduced, reports began to report quite severe side effects, including arthritis, neurological symptoms and cognitive problems. And in 1999, a class action 121 people were vaccinated against SmithKline Beecham (SKB). They stated that SKB was known and did not fully warn doctors and patients that certain people may have a genetic predisposition to develop autoimmune arthritis in response to the vaccine and that they wants SKB to update the safety warnings of the vaccine to address arthritis.
Lyme disease itself can cause arthritis, so the claims about LYMErix raise a lot of questions. While vaccines do not contain live bacteria, and therefore cannot cause With Lyme disease, people began to worry about its approach to making antibodies against OspA. Why? It was also around this time that scientists discovered that people with a certain genetic variation (type HLA DR4 +) you are more likely to develop arthritis after you have Lyme disease. They are also more likely to create Automaticantibodies (antibodies that mistakenly target your own cells) in response to OspA. Due to this Lyme-OspA autoimmune association, experts looked at the possibility that LYMErix could also induce arthritis in patients with the DR4 + variant.
But in 2001, an FDA advisory panel concluded that There is not enough evidence to support the claims that LYMErix caused side effects, including arthritis. At that time, 1.4 million doses of the vaccine had been distributed, and the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database included only 59 reports of arthritis-related diseases. to vaccines – a figure experts say is consistent with rates of arthritis in unvaccinated people. individuals. Despite this, SKB withdrew the vaccine from the market in 2002, citing low demand caused by all adverse media coverage caused by the lawsuits.
To this day, the safety of LYMErix is still debated. According to some, The downfall of LYMErix shows the loss of a powerful tool for the prevention of Lyme disease. But other medical experts are not sure that the vaccine is completely free from errors or risks, especially because it is clearer. Long-term safety studies have been suspended when the vaccine is on the market. In his new book Chronic: Hidden causes of the autoimmune pandemic and how to get back healthySteven Phillips, MD, said he continues to hear patients say they haven’t recovered from LYMErix injury nearly 20 years later. (Apparently, Lyme disease is a complex issue.)