A vaccine is now available in the United States for the prevention of Lyme disease, a tick-borne zoonosis common in some parts of the country. The vaccine should only be used when indicated, and it should be used in conjunction with other protective measures.


NOTE: The vaccine (LYMErix) was withdrawn by the manufacturer (Glaxo Smith Kline) in February, 2002 because of low demand. The low demand was related to the limited efficacy, need for frequent booster shots, high price, exclusion of children, and concern for possible musculoskeletal symptoms. Hopefully the second generation Lyme vaccines in development will have more success.


Recommended for:

(1) Persons 15-70 years of age who engage in activities (recreation, occupational, property management, leisure) that result in frequent or prolonged exposure to tick-infested areas in moderate to high risk areas.


Consider in:

(1) Persons 15-70 years of age who engage in activities that do not result in frequent or prolonged tick exposure but who do reside in areas with moderate to high risk, especially if unlikely to seek medical care for early manifestations of Lyme disease.


Additional safeguards required:

(1) Avoidance of tick-infested areas, especially in the spring and summer, when possible.

(2) Personal protection measures (repellants, clothing) to reduce tick exposures.

(3) Prompt and correct removal of ticks when detected.

(4) Prompt medical care if signs of infection are noted.


Not recommended for vaccination:

(1) persons < 15 or > 70 years of age

(2) pregnant women

(3) persons for no or minimal exposure to tick-infested habitats.

(4) persons who reside in areas with no or low risk.

(5) persons with treatment-resistant Lyme arthritis


Insufficient information available for recommendation (not included in safety and efficacy trial):

(1) persons with immunodeficiency.

(2) persons with chronic joint, neurologic or cardiac abnormalities related to previous Lyme disease.



• The vaccine prepared in the United States may not protect against European or other strains of the organism.


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