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Breakthrough Pfizer Lyme vaccine delayed until 2026

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Climate change is contributing to the increase of Lyme disease

Issues with clinical trials of a new Lyme vaccine being developed by Pfizer in the USA mean that the VLA15 vaccine is not expected to be submitted for full Food and Drug Administration approval until 2026 – one year later than Pfizer originally anticipated. Good practice violations discovered by regulators during clinical trials have set back a key phase of the testing.

Pfizer bought the vaccine for $130 million in 2020 as it was progressing through mid-stage trials.

In the UK there are around 3,000 cases of Lyme disease each year, whereas in the US, treatment centres say cases have doubled since 2000 and now hover around 500,000 cases a year.

The first-ever Lyme vaccine for humans, LYMErix, was withdrawn in 2002 after sales fell in the wake of a class action lawsuit against Glaxosmithkline amid claims the inoculations had caused arthritis in people who had been vaccinated. This claim was never substantiated.

Neil Maniar, director of the master of public health programme at Northeastern University in Boston said: “The level of exposure is only going to increase as climate change contributes to the spread Climate change is contributing to the increase of Lyme disease of Lyme disease.”

This story first appeared in Shooting Times, Britain’s oldest and best-selling shooting magazine. Published every Wednesday, the 141-year-old title has long been at the coalface of the countryside, breaking the stories that matter to you. Subscribe here.